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Celebrating newcomers and seasoned professionals

An outstanding apprentice and a leading project manager both took to the stage to collect awards for their exceptional efforts over the past 12 months.

‘It feels good,’ said Billy Welch, the winner of the Apprentice of the Year award. Billy, who works as an apprentice civil engineer for Costain at London Bridge, had worked as a HGV driver prior to joining the rail industry three-and- a-half years ago.

During his 18 months on the project, Billy has gained the respect of senior colleagues on what is a complex project, producing reports that have contributed to the Start of Shift (SoS) briefings and helping to ensure works are completed safely.

‘It’s quite hard to stand out at London Bridge due to the amount of staff and the vast amount of work that’s going on,’ said Billy. ‘But you have to make sure you try and stand out from the crowd.’

Jessica Andrews, who nominated Billy, wrote, ‘It is doubtless to say that one day Billy will walk through London Bridge station and be proud of what he has achieved.

‘Billy is also very keen to ensure that the quality aspect of all work is second to none and meets with Network Rail’s whole-life quality criteria. He achieves this by using Inspection Test Plans (ITPs) to ensure that work has been completed in accordance with project design documentation and engineering/ construction specifications.’

‘I think it’s good to receive some recognition for the work you do; it’s quite easy to go unnoticed in a project but once you receive the recognition it spurs you on to keep working and keep working towards another goal,’ Billy said.

This year, the Apprentice of the Year category has been jointly sponsored by Gore and Ballyclare, which together have been supplying rail PPE products to the industry for the past 25 years.

In a joint statement, Gore and Ballyclare said, ‘It was clear that Billy’s hard work, inquisitive passion and holistic approach to the mechanics of his current project, ‘London Dungeons’ section of the London Bridge station redevelopment, had gained him the admiration and respect of his peers and senior colleagues.

‘Added to this, his enthusiasm for his onsite work was equally matched by his thirst for on-going training, his current studies for a HND in construction in the built environment and his desire to become a fully certified engineer.’

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Winner of the Project Manager of the Year category was Craig Young. He joined the Network Certification Body (NCB) as a senior rail vehicle conformance engineer in 2013. Twh years later Craig was appointed project, planning and resource manager. He has risen to the challenge of the role and now oversees a portfolio of around 600 projects.

‘I’m an engineer by trade, so I’ve developed project management skills through my engineering,’ said Craig. ‘It is really nice and I’m going back into work on Monday with a big smile on my face and say a big thank you.’

CPMS sponsored the Project Manager of the Year category. CPMS was formed in 2012 and delivers rail electrification project management services and resources to the industry. Starting out with only four employees, the company now has a team of more than 60 and has supported several major programmes, including the replacement of 320 km of overhead line between Chelmsford and London’s Liverpool Street station and laying the foundations for the Great Eastern electrification scheme.

Says Mat Baine, managing director, CPMS, ’When they asked us what category we wanted to sponsor, it was only going to be one choice.

‘Project management is the lifeblood of the rail industry, and we need quality project managers coming through, people like Craig, delivering week in week out and driving the industry forward. It was a no- brainer for us as a company.’

APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR HIGHLY COMMENDED

  • Annais Siddall, Linbrooke Services Ltd
  • Ramiro Aldana, Amey Sersa North Alliance

PROJECT MANAGER OF THE YEAR HIGHLY COMMENDED

  • Kristine Harris, Network Rail
  • Hannah Jones, Young Rail Professionals

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