Orla Donnelly, an apprentice at leading airport ground support equipment manufacturer Mallaghan, has been named Apprentice of the Year at the distinguished Made in Northern Ireland Awards.

Hosted by Insider Media, the awards are designed to celebrate manufacturing and engineering companies across Northern Ireland that are committed to excellence and quality.

Speaking of her success, Orla commented:

“I have always had a keen interest in pursuing a career as an engineer and feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship at Mallaghan.

“As a female working in a male dominated industry, I have never felt that my work was any less valuable than anyone else’s and throughout my time at the company I have been given the guidance and support I needed to really excel, something which I am very grateful for.

“I am honoured to have received the award for Apprentice of the Year and hope that this achievement will help encourage other young women who may be considering an apprenticeship to go for it!”

Judges were particularly impressed by Orla’s exceptional understanding of design and manufacturing processes and her dedication to completing projects ahead of schedule to an extremely high standard, noting her as this year’s stand-out apprentice.

Mallaghan currently employs 25 apprentices at its Dungannon-based headquarters and has unveiled plans to create 30 new positions in response to sustained customer demand across its expansive product range.

HR Officer Aimee O’Neill said

“At Mallaghan, we understand how important it is to invest in our young people by providing opportunities to gain valuable skills and qualifications that will allow them to build a solid foundation for a rewarding career.

“Our Apprenticeship Programme was established with this in mind, and we are very proud to have welcomed so many exceptional students to Mallaghan over the years, including Orla Donnelly.

“Orla’s success at this year’s Made in Northern Ireland Awards is testament to her unwavering dedication, commitment, and eagerness to learn. I would like to extend my wholehearted congratulations to Orla and look forward continuing to work with her to help her fulfil her obvious potential.”