A 22-year old apprentice from Newport is one of three apprentices who have been named top of their year at the Linde Material Handling annual Apprenticeship Awards.

Wesley Edmunds, who is currently in the fourth year of his apprenticeship working as a field service engineer, was named top of his year at an event held at The National Space Centre in Leicester.

Wesley and the other winners were chosen using exam and coursework criteria along with testimonials from key stakeholders and customers.

The annual event celebrates the young people in Linde’s apprenticeship training programme and aims to recognise the hard work and dedication the apprentices demonstrate during their four-year course.

Wesley said “I was shocked to receive the award this year because I was awarded the same title for second year apprentices’ at last year’s awards.

“To be nominated for these awards is a huge achievement on its own so to win for the second-year running is simply amazing. I’m incredibly proud of myself and really pleased that all my hard-work has paid off especially as this past year has included a lot more responsibility and independence within my role.

“My second year was workshop based whereas last year I was given more responsibility to work independently on different sites, have more control over the fixing and servicing of trucks and become more customer focused.

“I’m really enjoying the final year of my apprenticeship, as it is really pushing me out of my comfort zone and challenging me to make decisions on my own which can be scary but feels amazing at the same time.

“Linde is such a great company and I hope once my apprenticeship finishes, I’m able to stay at the company in a more technical role that will eventually lead to higher managerial responsibilities.”

Shelley Brown, training and apprenticeship manager at Linde Material Handling, said: “This is the third year we have held our Linde Apprentice Awards and it’s great being able to recognise the hard work and dedication of our apprentices.

“We value all of our employees and believe that apprentices are vital to an organisations growth while also continually refreshing the workforce.

“It’s an honour to see our apprentices grow over the four years and for the majority to move into permanent roles at the company where they gain more responsibility and become a valuable member of the team and the Linde family.

“I’m proud to award these three apprentices and to celebrate all their hard work.

“We’d like to congratulate all our apprentices once again and we look forward to seeing them grow and celebrating more of their achievements.”

Apprentices at the event also attended a planetarium show to mark the Apollo landing and an engineering focused rocket building workshop.

Linde currently has 88 apprentices across the four-year programme having taken on 146 apprentices to date.

The course allows young people to gain valuable industry experience which enables them to develop their professional and personal skills while also gaining a formal qualification.

Each year, apprentices spend five weeks at the Fork Truck Training Centre in Swindon where Linde donated five Linde trucks to make sure all apprentices build a comprehensive knowledge of its products.

Linde’s industry leading apprenticeship programme teaches a broad range of skills and theory needed to service and repair a large range of forklift trucks.

Apprentices also have the opportunity to expand into other areas of the business using their transferable skills gained within the apprenticeship scheme.