Matthew Connelly: Apprentice of the Year!

H G Wood employee wins national award

Matthew Connelly (centre) is presented with the award by Andrew Woodward (left) and host Jonny Gould (right).H G Wood Lift Trucks Ltd has made a star signing in 22-year-old fork lift truck apprentice Matthew Connelly – he’s just won the fiercely-contested Apprentice of the Year Award at the national Awards for Excellence.

Matthew trained alongside some of the other nominees in this category at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, and said: “I was surprised and delighted to win the award considering the competition I was up against.

“My aims are to continue my training to the highest level possible and to develop my skills to work on as many machines and industrial vehicles as I can.”

One factor that might have given Matthew the edge over his rivals is his versatility; at H G Wood he has trained on a range of industrial vehicles, including rough terrain plant equipment and 4-way directional combi-trucks, as well as counterbalance fork lift trucks.

His managing director, David Wood, said: “I’m really proud of Matthew’s success at the FLTA Awards. He really is a genuinely nice guy but it’s his work ethic that really impresses me.

“He’s very capable, he picks things up extremely quickly and he’s a real asset to the company. I can see him moving into the electrical side of things to further his training so he really does have a bright future within the industry.

Matthew’s success comes at a time of real growth for H G Wood, as David Wood explains: “We’re very fortunate at the moment in that business is booming for us; it gives us a chance to invest in the future.

“We’ve just taken on three more members of staff and we’re aiming to put another young employee through a three-year apprenticeship course, so it’s great to see Matthew do so well at the start of his career.”

And David Wood had a second piece of good news when he found out his company has also been accepted as a full member of the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA).

He said: “It’s important that current and prospective customers see the FLTA logo on our paperwork. It’s a symbol of trust, reliability and security, and just knowing we’re a member gives our customers that extra peace of mind.”