Scotland scoops trophies at ECI Awards 23 at Cutty Sark

ECI Award winners

THE ENGINEERING construction industry’s (ECI) brightest and best were celebrated at a prestigious awards ceremony last night at the Cutty Sark in London and several trophies will be heading back up to Scotland this morning.

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.

STATS Group, based in Kintore, won Small/Medium Employer of the Year; Dounreay, a Division of Magnox, won the Large Employer of the Year; and Training Provider of the Year went to Forth Valley College.

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.”

STATS Group, meanwhile, was named SME Employer of the Year for how it “fosters competency across the organisation and instils a culture of improvement”. 

Andy Buckworth, Training and Competence Manager at STATS Group, said: “I’m ecstatic for the whole company. We put a platform in place and people have responded by committing to training and development.”

Principal and Chief Executive Kenny MacInnes from Forth Valley College, which won Approved Training Provider of the Year, said: “I am absolutely delighted and so proud to lead an organisation that has delivered such excellent training.

“I myself started as an apprentice, so to receive this award is full circle for me. To be principal of an organisation that’s been recognised for delivering such excellent training is just overwhelming.

“We’ve had such a long relationship with the ECITB. It’s fantastic to be recognised among our peers for delivering excellence working in close partnership for so long.”

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)

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