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Alstom celebrates impact of apprentices

Global mobility leader Alstom has celebrated the achievements of a new generation of trainees at its first ever Apprenticeship Awards.

The awards recognise the exceptional impact apprentices have at Alstom in the UK, where they work across a range of railway-related fields – including engineering, manufacture, design, maintenance, digital and integrated systems, procurement and logistics.

Apprenticeship award winners

Five winners across the country were honoured at a virtual ceremony on Wednesday 7 February, with 21-year-old Billy Gamov from York named overall Apprentice of the Year. As an Engineering Product Delivery Apprentice, he has been supporting the delivery of signalling projects around the UK from Alstom’s York office.

The judges praised Billy for his work in delivering a state-of-the-art, first of its type level crossing simulator, while a digital support system he helped develop has driven significant efficiencies across Alstom’s signalling business. His extracurricular role as a science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) ambassador was also highlighted, which has seen him attend an event at the National Railway Museum to talk to students about careers in rail and beyond.

Alongside his work, Billy is studying for an engineering degree apprenticeship at Aston University and is expected to graduate later this year.

Billy’s line manager, James Stanley, Principal Technologist at Alstom, said: “Billy has demonstrated countless times how much of an exceptional individual he is. His meticulous approach to his work, his enthusiasm and his drive for success is evident in all that he does. He truly is a role model and it’s fantastic to see such a bright young individual within Alstom that – even from this early stage in his career – is showing great promise of a bright future with us.”

Apprenticeships at Alstom

Alstom’s commitment to creating ‘Skills for Life’ – the theme for this year’s National Apprenticeship Week – was further reinforced today (Wednesday 7 February) as it confirmed 36 more apprenticeship roles will be created across the UK in areas such as engineering, project management and supply chain.

Apprenticeships at Alstom offers trainees the chance to earn while they learn. Alongside their day job, apprentices will spend at least 20 per cent of their working hours undergoing learning at university or college, additional training and studying. The new cohort is expected to start working at the company from September.

“Alstom is incredibly proud to celebrate the winners of our inaugural Apprenticeship Awards. Apprenticeships are hugely important to our dynamic workforce as apprentices bring fresh perspectives, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. They are also helping us address national skills gaps by building a pipeline of fantastic talent for the future,” said James Gray, Human Resources Director UK&I at Alstom.

He added: “Each year we are blown away by the aptitude and passion of our apprentices across the country, who are all motivated in addressing the challenges of tomorrow’s mobility in a responsible way. I would encourage anyone looking for a new challenge to consider one of our varied apprenticeship roles, all of which help us contribute to a low carbon future by developing and promoting innovative transportation solutions that passengers enjoy riding.”

As the country’s foremost supplier of new trains and train services, and a leading signalling and infrastructure provider, Alstom has around 6,000 employees in the UK and Ireland, who are based at 37 sites. Alongside apprenticeships (from Level 2 to 6) Alstom also offers a postgraduate apprenticeship (Level 7) and a two-year graduate programme, as well as work experience in a number of functions.

Success stories

Other winners in this year’s Alstom Apprenticeship Awards included:

• Level 3 (Advanced) Apprentice of the Year

Joshua Eaton is based at the Midlands Traincare Centre in Oxley, one of five similar facilities operated by Alstom along the West Coast Main Line. From Wolverhampton, the 20-year-old works at the site as a Rail Engineering Technician, servicing Avanti West Coast’s high-speed Pendolino (Class 390) and AT300 (Class 805) trains.
He has enjoyed several milestone achievements in his career to date, notably creating a work standard for contractors to follow when upgrading Wi-Fi on the Pendolinos. A lifelong ambition, Joshua also achieved a depot driving qualification, which enables him to drive trains around the depot.

• Level 4 (Higher) Apprentice of the Year

Also from Wolverhampton and based at Oxley, Jay Wootton works as a Mechanical Designer, where he has become the site lead for 3D printing. He has secured funding for two new 3D printers in Oxley, which are now being used daily to produce specialist tools that are supporting a wide range of business functions.

The judges also praised the 23-year-old’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) which saw him design parts of a refurbished double-decker bus for charity Suited for Success. The bus operates as a pop-boutique, offering free interview clothing upstairs for unemployed people. Meanwhile, coaching booths and computers on the lower deck provide a space for interview preparation and job applications respectively.

• Level 6 (Degree) Apprentice of the Year

Like Billy, Niamh Mc Keating is based at Alstom’s York office, where she works as a Project Manager. The 21-year-old has been instrumental in Alstom’s £28 million contact to resignal the Ferrybridge to Goole railway line, improving the reliability, safety and efficiency of an important route that carries passengers and goods across Yorkshire.

Additionally, Niamh has supported various CSR activities, from taking part in the Women@Alstom spotlight series to organising a charity coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Suport. She is working towards a project management degree at York St. John University and is expected to graduate this year.

• Rising Star Apprentice of the Year

George Creed’s “brilliance shines like a beacon illuminating the path to excellence”, said his line manager, Latif Natha, Sales and Operations Planning Manager. The 19-year-old works as a Supply Chain Professional at Alstom’s largest site in Derby. The UK was selected among the Alstom group to pilot a new supplier relationship management (SRM) software programme and George was instrumental to its successful rollout.

His line manager added: “George demonstrates proactive problem solving, a keen ability to learn and adapt, relentless and unwavering dedication, a profound commitment in his continuous pursuit of mastery, and the ability to surpass expectations.”

Learn more about apprenticeships at Alstom here.

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