The engineering construction industry’s (ECI) brightest and best were celebrated at a prestigious awards ceremony at the Cutty Sark in London with the nuclear industry scooping a third of the awards.

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.

Dounreay, a division of Magnox, picked up the coveted Large Employer of the Year award while Cavendish Nuclear’s Luke Turner and Hannah Marchant won Apprentice of the Year and Graduate of the Year respectively.

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”. He said:

“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.”

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, who was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to Industry award. ECITB Chief Operating Officer Andy Brown, who handed the award to Sandy, highlighted the work he has done advocating for the Connected Competence programme. In accepting the award, Sandy said:

“I’m taken aback, it’s amazing to be standing here. But it’s not about me, it’s a team effort.  I couldn’t have done it without the support of the ECITB and I want to say a special thank you to the team with its work on Connected Competence.”

Dounreay, a division of Magnox, picked up the Large Employer of the Year award in recognition of its “exceptional commitment to learning and development” and how that aligns with its people strategy. Rhona Gill, Learning Development Specialist at Dounreay, said:

“We’re a very small learning and development team and we’re always punching above our weight, so it’s amazing to be recognised among our peers, we’re so delighted.”

On winning Apprentice of the Year: Luke Turner from Cavendish Nuclear Ltd, said:

“It feels fantastic to win. I read the blurbs about the other candidates and any one of them could have won it. Where I’m working, there are multiple apprentices there that are just as worthy, so I’m absolutely thrilled to have been recognised and I look forward to the future. Being recognised like this has definitely given me even more drive and motivation to do exactly what I’ve been doing and makes all the work I’ve put in over the last few years all worthwhile.”

Hannah Marchant, also from Cavendish Nuclear, then followed hot on Luke’s heels by winning Graduate of the Year. She said:

“I feel absolutely stunned, gobsmacked, overwhelmed and grateful to have won this award. I really feel like I’ve been so blessed with a lot of opportunities and being recognised like this is the icing on the cake. Working for Cavendish Nuclear is great. It’s got a diverse pool of work and really interesting projects that we work on. Clearly they must be doing something right with their early careers community with two of us winning awards this year. It’s something they’re really proud of.”

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)
Finalists: Lydia Uttley (Wright Engineering), Annie Nash (EDF)

Graduate of the Year – sponsored by BCECA
Winner: Hannah Marchant (Cavendish Nuclear Ltd)
Finalists: Alexander Board (Jacobs), Ben Pond (Aquaterra Energy Ltd)

ED&I Initiative of the Year – sponsored by NDA
Winner: WSP
Finalists: Fluor Limited, The Human Library – ACOSTE, Everyone Belongs – Wessex Water’s Culture, Inclusion and Diversity Programme

Scholar of the Year – sponsored by Cavendish Nuclear Ltd
Winner: Jordan Palmer (Pembrokeshire College)
Finalists: Owen Klinton (The Engineering College), Patrick Grannon (North Lindsey College), Thomas Tooze (Bridgewater and Taunton 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
Finalists: Hornbill Engineering Limited, Wright Engineering

Approved Training Provider of the Year – sponsored by TWI
Winner: Forth Valley College
Finalists: GSS Training Limited, CATCH

Leading Industry Safety Award – sponsored by Sellafield
Winner: Petrofac
Finalists: Andrew Clarke (Dounreay, a division of Magnox), Connected Competence (Employer Delivery Group), C&P Engineering Services Ltd

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)


Note to Editors: 

About the ECITB
The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) is the employer-led skills body for the Engineering Construction Industry (ECI) in Great Britain. A non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Education, the ECITB works with employers and government to attract, develop and qualify personnel across a wide range of craft, technical and managerial disciplines.

Since 2020, the ECITB has invested £48 million on training within the engineering construction industry, including support for 3,716 new entrants.