Apprentice of the Year 2018

The CIHT Apprentice of the Year award has been introduced to recognise apprentices who are making a difference in our industry. It is a celebration of those organisations who have put apprentices at the heart of their business, and the outstanding achievements of young professionals as a result of this commitment.



Joel Shevlin, Apprentice Transport Planner - Atkins

Put simply, I would like to gain the prestigious award of “Apprentice of the Year”, this would be a great achievement for me, personal, and will hopefully encourage other apprentices to apply for the awards in the future. I have learnt an incredible amount at my time with Atkins and I really believe that I am lucky to be part of a company that values its people and progression so much. 

I have come from an unusual route in that I have been working in factories since I left school and I am a bit older than the average apprentice, being 23. It would be a brilliant achievement to win but I am glad to have been shortlisted, I would encourage other apprentices to apply for this competition and always go for opportunities that come up!

My apprentice membership with the CIHT has proved invaluable to my career progression and industry knowledge as well as helping me build up my confidence. I have also developed An excellent network and made some great friends through my CIHT membership. I have spoken at events, mostly about my experience within being an apprenticeship and the adaption process of working as a welder in a factory to an office environment and some of the early challenges I have faced in my career. I strongly believe that my membership with CIHT has catalysed my development in work and has even helped develop my soft skills that bring benefit to many elements of my life.

Choosing to take an apprenticeship was a big decision that I took and I am so glad that I decided this route. I’ve gained so much confidence from my role and I strongly believe that saying ‘yes’ to opportunities is key to finding success. I am gaining well-recognised qualifications, I am learning on-the-job, I am in a great team of vastly experienced professionals and I have no student debt. My advice would be to at least consider apprenticeships as an option, they can be a brilliant way of becoming a valued member of a great company and in some cases they can actually accelerate career progression. It looks like there has been a recent shift in perceptions of the worth of apprenticeships, this is long overdue. They can offer excellent careers to people from all sorts of backgrounds.

Erin Ruddy, Transport Planning Apprentice - Capita

The main reason in which I applied for the CIHT Apprentice of the Year 2018 was for professional growth. The CIHT is such a well-respected and well-recognised organisation within the Transport and Highways industry I knew this would be a great opportunity to ‘put myself out there’ and expand on networking and my professional goals. Another reason for applying for The Apprentice of the year award was because I am very proud of my own achievements in this industry. 

A number of colleagues had mentioned the award to myself and suggested that it would be a great method of recognition for the number of internal awards I had been put forward for. By being a member of the CIHT I personally think it provides you with the tools and support to create a better you. Furthermore I believe the CIHT continuously encourages you to amplify your potential through the use of CPD events and awards. Apprenticeships are a great way to receive on the job training as well as academic and professional qualifications, they provide fantastic learning opportunities and valuable skills. My most recent opportunity was the European field trip I had attended with my College. We a number of days in the Netherlands and Germany.

Whilst being there we explored traffic management and the use of sustainable travel. I really enjoyed seeing how other countries deal with the demand for travel and how they promote active travel. It was also interesting to see how much money the countries had spent on developing their town and cities to make sustainable travel more desirable. I personally think the best element of having an apprenticeship is the support you receive off your company. From my personal experience my company strive to provide quality education and help to plan out your future goals and aspirations. All of those components help aid you to achieving the most you can out of your apprenticeship.

Connor Coupland, Asset Development Apprentice - A One +

I entered because I wanted to showcase the cool work I’ve been doing as an apprentice and to show my company how well I’m progressing.

Being a member of the CIHT allows you to attend local events and meet others like you, add to your professional development and apply for your EngTech. All of which, develop your career and enhance your potential.

Apprenticeships have a great value, they offer the experience, education and payment all in one. If you have the chance to choose an apprenticeship for your desired job, it’s definitely the way to go.

Georgia Woloszczak, Apprentice Transport Planner - WSP

I entered for the CIHT Apprentice of Year award as it is a fantastic way to get recognised for my work within the industry we work in, on both a regional and national level. I became a member of CIHT as it opens the door to many opportunities; including networking, learning and my professional development.


I think Apprenticeships are the key to many organisations. We bring in fresh ideas, new skills and brighten the future. I’m glad to have chosen an Apprenticeship.

Oscar Davies, Apprentice Quantity Surveyor - Kier

I entered the competition because I believe I have had a positive impact on the highways and transportation industry and played a vital role in my company’s success within it. I also entered the competition because I thought it would be a good opportunity to gain recognition for my contribution to the industry from the leading chartership body within it. 

I feel being a member of CIHT is important for my professional career and progression within it. CIHT provides me with more awareness of the industry which I can apply to the work I am doing and brings together professionals within the highways and transportation industry on a common platform encouraging discussions and giving people more of an insight into the industry. I work with highways and transportation professionals daily and think CIHT is the perfect institute to be a part of.

I perceive the value of an apprenticeship as providing the perfect opportunity to work with professionals and extract knowledge they have gained from their many years of experience. Apprenticeships have enabled many young people who may not have had the opportunity to go to university or gain a qualification the ability to do so and set them off on the right foot in their career. Without my apprenticeship I would not be in the situation I am now and have the in depth knowledge I have gained so short into my time in the industry

Jemma Gilman, Transport Planning Apprentice - HS2 Ltd

I have entered CIHT apprentice of the year as it was suggested to me by Manager following the work I have supported. I am hoping this competition will help me inspire those younger than me or those interested in becoming an apprentice, to consider an apprenticeship in the Highways and Transportation industry. On top of this, I believe this award will help showcase that the sector is serious about addressing the skills gap and diversity issues. 

I have valued from being a member of CIHT as I have found it easier to build up my network and can develop through events that the regions run. I have particularly found the CPD advice useful and implemented the CIHT method of recording events and courses early on in my apprenticeship. My favourite CIHT event was the Young Professionals networking event in Leeds last year. I enjoyed talking to those attending about their work and being given advice at such an early stage in my career.

To date, my experience as an apprentice has been invaluable and exceeded so many expectations. I found my decision to be an apprentice one of the best decisions I have made. I often use my experience to inform others of different pathways to University when they are unsure of next steps. I work closely with the Young Apprentice Ambassadors' Network and STEM to do this. I try and promote the industry and apprenticeships to the best of my ability through talks and activities that are typical to my job or course.

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