Ambitious Network Rail graduate Lucy Hoyle won the 2016 Graduate of the Year award.

Lucy, who studied geography at University College London (UCL) before joining the Network Rail graduate scheme in September 2015, said she had always been interested in working in infrastructure and construction.

She is currently part of the Network Rail Transformation team, which is responsible for implementing new ways of working within Network Rail. The role requires Lucy
to demonstrate outstanding stakeholder management skills.

‘It’s quite a surprise,’ said Lucy, reacting to her award win. ‘It’s also really exciting because I think there is a lot of talent in the industry, and I think it’s important to recognise the talent, so I feel really proud to have been recognised as the winner.’

Lucy described her experience within the rail industry as a ‘whirlwind’. ‘I’ve had two six-month placements and they’ve both been completely different, but I think that’s put me in good stead for the future.’

She’s now looking forward to what a career in rail could offer. ‘There is literally so much to see… I think there’s so many more avenues to explore and that’s why I’m thinking going forward I’d like to explore more different opportunities and different teams.’

Graduate of the Year was sponsored by rail telecommunications specialists telent, which has been designing and delivering telecomms networks for over 30 years. telent runs its own two-year graduate scheme for aspiring engineers and project managers.

Says telent’s Stephen Dalton, ‘The industry as a whole is going through a bit of a transition.’

He believed that graduates bringing ‘new passion’ and ‘new energy’ into the industry would play a key role.

‘We at telent, we’re transitioning as a business as well from a traditional lineside operational comms organisation through now to the IP and technology for Digital Railway and we see graduates playing an important part in that.’

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Jason Garside (left) with Alex Pedley.

The NTRS training team won the Training Team of the Year award. NTRS has a City & Guilds-accredited and EAL- approved training centre in Sheffield. As well as supporting the training requirements of its parent company, Linbrooke, the centre offers training services to the wider rail industry.

Jason Garside, head of client development for NTRS, said the award was ‘absolutely fantastic’.

Construction and Rail Training (CART) was the sponsor of this year’s Trainer/Training Team of the Year award. Established in 2015, the company has more than 40 years of combined experience within the rail and construction sectors. Initially operating from a single site in Baldock, Hertfordshire, the company now has a satellite training centre in Sheffield and is preparing to open a second in Essex.

Alex Pedley, business development and funding director, CART, believed CART and NTRS share the same focus on quality in training. ‘That is what everybody in the rail industry has got to work to,’ said Alex. ‘We’ve seen it in the past where things maybe have not been done quite right, but it’s getting to that stage now where everything has got to be done to a tee. We’ve got to do it and NTRS are demonstrating that.’

He added, ‘It’s a fantastic night that highlights the quality throughout the industry. I think as an industry as a whole the quality of everything we do from training to delivery to engineering, everything we do, it’s gone through the roof in the last few years and I think it’s only going to get better.’

GRADUATE OF THE YEAR HIGHLY COMMENDED

  • Emma Taylor, SNC-Lavalin Rail & Transit
  • Chris Kelly, Alstom Transport UK

TRAINER/TRAINING TEAM OF THE YEAR HIGHLY COMMENDED

  • Steve Tollerton, Jason Alexandre and Rob Christopher, Samaritans’ Managing Suicidal Contacts and Trauma Support Training Team
  • Nigel Roberts, VolkerWessels UK