It has been a remarkable year for permanent way technician Rebecca Munro. She came into the RailStaff Awards having already been named as the best apprentice in the country twice this year and left with her third trophy of what’s been an incredible 12 months.
In her nomination, Rebecca was described by a colleague as a ‘star of the future’ and a ‘superb ambassador for the industry’.
Rebecca, one of only two female students out of a class of 80, achieved the top grade in her Advanced Technical Apprenticeship and is now completing a Higher Level Apprenticeship. Rebecca’s dedication to her craft is clear. She attends college one day a week – a journey of around 110 miles.
The 21-year-old is already having a positive influence on her organisation. Alongside her day job, she has been appointed as the corporate and social responsibility representative for Mott MacDonald’s York office – a role which has seen her spearhead various charity and community outreach projects.
After walking off stage, Rebecca said she hopes the award will encourage other women who are looking at a career within the rail industry.
Rebecca, who is from the village of East Heslerton between Malton and Scarborough, said, ‘I’m so proud I’ve won the award, and I think it’s a fantastic recognition for other women going into the industry to show where you can go with it.’
Rebecca has already achieved her EngTech from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). She performed so well in her interview that her reviewers nominated her for the ICE’s Jean Venables Medal – an honour named after a former ICE president. She now hopes to go on and become an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) with ICE and eventually work towards chartership.
Rebecca, who studied at Norton College prior to joining Mott MacDonald in 2014 as an apprentice civil engineer, explained why she chose to pursue a career in engineering, ‘It’s such an achievement to say I designed this and there’s thousands of people using it every day.’
Neil Henderson, railways director, Mott MacDonald, said, ‘Becky is a rising star in the rail industry. She has excelled at college, is hardworking and puts her heart and soul into everything she does. Becky is an important member of our rail team in York and has applied her learning to great effect.
‘She recently received her EngTech from the Institution of Civil Engineers and has already won several prestigious awards in recognition of her excellent work during her short career.
‘Having managed Becky since she joined us, I have seen her go from strength to strength in her professionalism and technical ability. Additionally, her personal commitment to helping others through various corporate social responsibility activities and mentoring schemes is admirable.
‘It is clear from this dedication that Becky is a deserved winner of the 2017 Apprentice of the Year award as she is a great role model for other apprentices.’
The Apprentice of the Year category was sponsored by global engineering leader AECOM. In the UK, AECOM is supporting major infrastructure schemes like Crossrail and HS2.
Russell Jackson, AECOM’s head of rail, UK&I and Europe, Transportation, said, ‘AECOM is proud to have sponsored the Apprentice of the Year category, and we were incredibly impressed by all of those shortlisted for this year’s award. Attracting talent through a variety of different routes will be key to building capacity and key skills in the infrastructure sector.
‘AECOM believes that encouraging more young people to apply for apprenticeships will be crucial to this long-term approach.’
Highly commended: Christopher Brazier, AECOM and Marisa Bajerski, Network Rail.