Positive and helpful, with a sense of humour and optimism that’s always well received, is how colleagues describe Ben Cox, named as Apprentice of the Year 2015.
During periods of high pressure, Ben is recognised for displaying exceptional composure, keeping his cool and managing critical relationships between teams.
It’s a great achievement for Ben, who has been working on Crossrail and joined the project nine months ago. Part of the famed Mile End Team, he’s serving his apprenticeship with Skanska and is already putting his knowledge and experience to good use with the Costain/Skanska Joint Venture (CSJV) team.
Says Ben, ‘It’s fantastic! I’d like to thank Paul Gully, Keith Perry and Richard Plant for their support and guidance.
Says colleague Saad Slimani, ‘While he is a relative newcomer to the construction industry and the Crossrail C360 project, Ben deserves the Apprentice of the Year Award for his commitment, work ethic and passion for achieving objectives as part of a team.
‘As well as improving his engineering expertise, Ben has firmly grasped responsibility for day-to-day operations and the management of health and safety onsite. This is evident from the growing respect he has from his seniors, the site supervisors.
‘He has been responsible for weekly checks of key safety equipment as well as updating all signage and inductions on a constantly changing site. We have absolute faith in Ben’s ability to manage the safety procedures that govern the wellbeing of all staff and visitors to site.’
Ben not only soaks up experience transmuting it into professionalism but is making a greater contribution to the job.
‘Ben uses his initiative to foresee potential problems before they arise,’ says Saad. ‘In several instances he has suggested changes to procedure, and then drafted revisions of procedures and method statements for approval without being tasked with ownership of this.’
Ben Cox has consistently performed to a level that is far beyond his age, position and the expectations of the team. He has become competent at using and setting out equipment, carries out quality checks for subcontractors’ work and has been given a key role in running the daily coordination meeting to prepare the Start of Shift (SOS) briefing for the next day.
‘Despite his youth, Ben Cox confidently presents the SOS and toolbox talks to a workforce of approximately 40 operatives. Colleagues point out the audience gives him complete attention and respect. ‘This might seem a daunting prospect to some but such is his depth of character, Ben simply takes it in his stride,’ one said.
Apprentice of the Year was sponsored by Shorterm Group, which provides specialist recruitment services and technical support for the engineering industry. The award was presented by Shorterm Group’s director of rail, Lawrence Dobie.
He said, ‘It’s nice to be able to recognise the achievement and certainly for an award like Apprentice of the Year where you’ve got a young person who’s new to the industry. I think it’s really good to get that sense of achievement early on in their career.
‘For me, the Apprentice of the Year Award is probably the most important one of the night because those young people are the future of the industry.’
- Tom Wilson, Merseyrail
- MaxWoof, Atkins