The engineering construction industry’s (ECI) brightest and best were celebrated at a prestigious awards ceremony at the Cutty Sark in London and one of the brightest stars among them was Jordan Palmer from Pembrokeshire who won Scholar of the Year.
The 11th ECI Training and Development Awards, organised by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), brought together industry leaders, influencers and policymakers, as well as the rising stars of tomorrow, at a ceremony hosted by engineer, broadcaster, teacher and STEM advocate, Kate Bellingham.
Inspired by the rich maritime history of the Cutty Sark and with the ceremony taking place beneath its world-famous hull, the theme of this year’s event was about embarking on journeys.
Speaking at his first ECI Awards since joining the ECITB, Chief Executive Andrew Hockey stressed that industry’s most valuable assets are its people, both those at the start of their journeys like the scholars, apprentices and graduates honoured last night and those present “whose journeys have paved the way for those that follow”.
“I would like to congratulate all the winners and finalists who are great examples of the success stories from across industry over the past year. They exemplify the talent, innovation, resilience and endeavour that our industry holds in such high regard, setting standards to which we all aspire.
The quality of nominations this year reflects the strength of talent in the industry and the breadth of attendees last night shows that these awards are one of the biggest events in the engineering construction calendar.
It was wonderful to be in the same room to celebrate all that is great about training and development in our industry with so many partners and friends representing organisations from across the length and breadth of the UK and internationally.
I’d like to extend a huge thank you to all our judges, who had the monumental task of choosing a winner in each category.”
Jordan Palmer fought off stiff competition to win Scholar of the Year. He has proved to be an exceptional talent in welding and fabrication, demonstrating truly inspirational qualities. He achieved success in Pembrokeshire’s regional welding competition and won a silver medal in the Inspiring Skills Wales Welding Competition finals.
Jordan’s dedication to personal growth led to an apprenticeship at Rhyal Engineering. His passion for his craft and willingness to share knowledge make him an outstanding candidate, as demonstrated by his selection to represent Wales in the 2022/23 UK Skills final.
Arwyn Williams, Head of Faculty for Engineering and Computing at Pembrokeshire College, accepted on behalf of Jordan who was unable to attend the event.
“Jordan is so dedicated to his studies. He’s so keen and talented in engineering. He’s a welder and fabricator and, to be honest, we struggle to get him out of the welding bays because he’s so keen on cracking on and gaining his skills.
We’ve been working closely with the ECITB and the scholarship programme is one example of where we’ve brought lots of young people in to supply skills and training to bring talented individuals into the sector.”
Making significant contributions to industry
The judging panel for the awards was made up of John Simpson from the ECIA, Tracey Shelley from BCECA and Zainab Adigun from AFBE, who whittled down a shortlist in each category to pick the overall winners based on the significant contributions they have made both to the ECI and their own organisations. Among the winners on the night was Bilfinger UK Executive President Sandy Bonner.
Lynda Armstrong, Chair of the ECITB Board, added:
“I would like to congratulate everyone honoured last night and thank our generous sponsors who made the event possible.
The Cutty Sark has an incredibly storied history which I think reflects the ambition, tenacity and bold endeavour that often defines engineering construction, and which was evident in the success stories of all our finalists this year.
The organisations and individuals in the room have the capacity to influence positive change through innovation, knowledge, skills and collaboration. In essence, the world needs you to do what engineers have always done best, which is to build something better than what came before.”
ECI Training & Development Awards 2023: Winners and Finalists
Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by C&P Engineering
Winner: Luke Turner (Cavendish Nuclear Ltd)
Graduate of the Year – sponsored by BCECA
Winner: Hannah Marchant (Cavendish Nuclear Ltd)
ED&I Initiative of the Year – sponsored by NDA
Scholar of the Year – sponsored by Cavendish Nuclear Ltd
Winner: Jordan Palmer (Pembrokeshire College)
Large Employer of the Year – sponsored by CATCH
Winner: Dounreay, a Division of Magnox
Finalists: NNB Generation Company (HPC), Briggs of Burton
Small/Medium Employer of the Year – sponsored by AFBE
Winner: STATS Group
Approved Training Provider of the Year – sponsored by TWI
Winner: Forth Valley College
Leading Industry Safety Award – sponsored by Sellafield
International Training Provider of the Year – sponsored by Petrotekno
Winner: 3t EnerMech
Finalists and regional winners: Vibrant Global, BJ Services (M) Sdn Bhd
Outstanding Contribution to Industry
Winner: Sandy Bonner (Bilfinger UK)