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Transport Apprentice Shows Drive to Succeed in Scooping Top Award

A Teesside apprentice knows his career is on-track after winning a top industry award.

Michael Richardson, 20, from Ingleby Barwick, works in the transport department for the Tees Valley Combined Authority and is playing an important role in delivering Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen’s transport improvements. He is now celebrating after securing the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) North East & Cumbria Apprentice of the Year Award at a virtual ceremony.

The gong was presented by the society and membership body, which is concerned with the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of land transport systems and infrastructure. It recognises the efforts of an apprentice who is a rising star within the region and who consistently goes above and beyond in their daily duties to assist their colleagues.

Michael took on his role as Transport Planning Technician Apprentice in September 2020. His work involves all modes of transport across the Tees Valley, such as helping deliver electric vehicle charging points, looking at railway station enhancements, taking forward cycling and walking projects, exploring how digital schemes can improve transport, and on-demand bus service Tees Flex.

In support of his bid, it was noted how Michael is an “invaluable and popular member of the team with a natural aptitude” with a “strong work ethos and is enthusiastic and committed” with him “working well beyond the level expected of an apprentice”.

Michael said: “I was drawn to this job after taking an interest in the transport sector, particularly around how it interacts with the local economy and helps to provide jobs and create opportunity in my area. I like my role because it allows me to have a positive impact on my local area and the people within it and my apprenticeship and the skills I’ve learned will be vital for my future career as a Transport Planner.

“Winning this award in my first year as an apprentice means a lot to me and it is great to receive industry recognition for the work I have done. CIHT are a highly reputable organisation and it was amazing to receive this award.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has also joined those congratulating Michael for his achievement. He said: “I’ve made it a priority to back quality apprenticeships across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, and we’re leading by example – proving you can stay local and go far. Michael has shown how much young people can get out of apprenticeships and has gone that extra mile to support his team and help improve our region.

“We are continuing to transform our transport system, with further funding from the recently announced £310million from Government for our projects. So if you notice the changes at our stations, use one of our new cycleways, footpaths, new electric vehicle charging points, or realise that it’s becoming easier to get around, know Michael has worked hard on these schemes.

“I’d like to say congratulations, offer him my thanks and wish him all the best as he continues on his journey to a well-paid, good-quality career.”