Tom Willett has been awarded the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) National Skills Academy Apprentice of the Year Award, whilst on placement at the Intercity Express (IEP) Stoke Gifford rail depot near Bristol currently being constructed by VolkerFitzpatrick.
The Hitachi train maintenance centre will be responsible for the maintenance and service delivery of the Class 801 fleet, which will run on the Great Western Main Line as part of the government’s £5.7 billion flagship InterCity Express Programme .
Tom joined VolkerRail in August 2014 and is currently undertaking an NVQ level 3 apprenticeship in railway engineering.
Commenting on his win, Tom said: “I started my Level 2 apprenticeship in 2013. This allowed me to undertake a year-long course at a heritage site in Bristol where I learnt the basic skills needed to work on the railway. My training gave me the stepping stone I needed to further my career and through my training provider ARC Academy UK, an interview at a local construction site was arranged. This is where I got the opportunity to work at the new Stoke Gifford depot, as an apprentice engineer for VolkerRail. Since joining the site, I have received great support from everyone, this has helped me develop and led to me being named Stoke Gifford’s apprentice of the year. This is a great achievement and I feel very proud of my accomplishments.”
Joseph Jamieson, project engineer and Tom’s mentor added: “In the 10 months that Tom has been with VolkerRail, he has become a valuable member of the IEP delivery team. He has always been an enthusiastic apprentice and has consistently taken a mature approach when faced with new challenges. I am very proud of all of his achievements and he is a deserving winner of the CITB Apprentice of the Year award. I look forward to continuing to aid him as he develops as an engineer and am confident that his ability will continue to grow as he progresses in his career.”
Ian Jones Resourcing and Recruitment manager at ARC Academy: “It was a great pleasure attending the awards ceremony in Swansea with VolkerFitzpatrick. The event was made even more memorable when Tom Willett was named Apprentice of the Year. It goes to show that hard work and a true hunger to achieve is rewarded. Well done Tom!”
The new Stoke Gifford depot is one of three depots being constructed by VolkerFitzpatrick for Hitachi Rail Europe. Once complete, the new facilities will house its new fleet of long-distance intercity express trains that will operate on the Great Western Mainline. VolkerRail is the main sub-contractor on site and is currently undertaking all rail works.
The CITB is a partner in the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry in England, Scotland and Wales. They work with the industry to encourage training, which helps build a safe, professional and fully qualified workforce.