The construction plant sector – not to mention the wider construction industry – has a promising future judging by the outstanding quality of the entrants at this year’s Stars of the Future awards hosted by the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA).
Held in association with A-Plant, CPA Stars of the Future identifies some of the industry’s emerging talent and almost 700 plant mechanic apprentices were eligible for the esteemed awards, representing companies across the UK from plant hire companies large and small, including well-known names such as JCB, Marubeni Komatsu, Speedy Services, Skanska UK plc, plus several independents.
Now in its sixth year, this year’s Stars of the Future awards ceremony was hosted at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre in Fillongley near Coventry. The CPA welcomed over 300 apprentices, family members, college tutors and employers to the event which was also sponsored and supported by Boecker UK, Explore Plant and Transport Services, International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), JCB, Select Plant Hire and Snap-on Tools.
Stars of the Future is an awards scheme for apprentices in the construction plant industry, run in conjunction with UK colleges offering plant mechanic apprentice training. This year’s awards were for plant mechanic apprentices who have been assessed throughout the academic year on their work in college and in their work environment. There were a total of 19 regional winners for both NVQ Level 2 and Level 3 apprentices, plus two national winners. Prior to the awards, a presentation was delivered by Steve Bradby, Engineering Leader at Select Plant Hire and Chris Gatheridge, Head of Service and Compliance at Explore Plant and Transport Services Ltd, supported by Katie Kelleher, Lifting Technician and Trainee Appointed Person at Laing O’Rourke.
The 2018 Stars of the Future Winners
Regional Level 2 Winners College and Employer
Dan Pickles Askham Bryan College, Charles Wilson Engineers Ltd
John Higgins Bridgend College, Komatsu Mining Germany
Harry Wood National Construction College, SMT GB
Cameron Evans National Construction College (Scotland), Story Contracting
Amy Kirkham Finning Academy, Finning UK (Cannock)
Rhyss Cunningham Glasgow Kelvin College, NRS Group
Michael Barton Myerscough College, Chippindale Plant
Imran Ahmed Reaseheath College, A-Plant
Scott Paskin Stafford College, Dewsbury and Proud Ltd
Joe Hughes Wiltshire College, ALC Vehicles
Regional Level 3 Winners College and Employer
Joe Hobson Askham Bryan College, Peter Duffy Ltd
James Power Bridgend College, Associated British Ports
Ciaran Warnes National Construction College, TXM Plant
Kyle Maitland National Construction College (Scotland), Leiths (Scotland) Ltd
Archie Shorten Finning Academy, Finning UK (Leeds)
Ross Logan Glasgow Kelvin College, Marubeni Komatsu Ltd
Callum Bradley Myerscough College, Hire Station
Tyler Lloyd Reaseheath College, A-Plant
Adam Counihan Stafford College, Liebherr GB
Dan Pickles Askham Bryan College, Charles Wilson Engineers Ltd (Level 2)
Ciaran Warnes National Construction College, TXM Plant (Level 3)
National Level 2 winner Dan Pickles commented: “I really didn’t expect to win such a prestigious industry award and I can’t thank Askham Bryan College and Charles Wilson Engineers enough for the support they have given me. I have been given the responsibility of working as a Mobile Service Engineer by my employer, which is a great position for an apprentice to be in as I work all over the country covering 18 depots nationwide. I’d like to go on to become a Senior Service Engineer or Foreman in the near future but my ultimate ambition is to continue to work in this industry.”
National Level 3 winner Ciaran Warnes, who works for TXM Plant and attends the National Construction College said: “This award means the world to me and I wasn’t expecting it at all! It just shows what you can achieve with hard work and determination. I love working with plant machinery and this accolade is great news for me personally and TXM Plant. It makes me very proud and I hope it will help my career in the future.”
Kevin Minton, Chief Executive of the CPA said: “The standard of this year’s Stars of the Future entries really was exceptional and the judging panel had some difficult decisions to make. Stars of the Future is one of the highlights in the CPA’s calendar and we welcome the opportunity to reward and recognise some of the industry’s brightest talent. It is also pleasing to see just how well some of the previous Stars of the Future winners have progressed in their careers since.”
The two national winners received Snap-on roll cart tool kits and the 19 regional winners won Snap-on student tool kits. Dan Pickles was the winner of the National Level 2 award but five other national finalists were in contention for the accolade, namely John Higgins who attends Bridgend College and is employed by Komatsu Mining Germany, Cameron Evans who attends National Construction College Scotland and is employed by Story Contracting, A-Plant’s Imran Ahmed who attends Reaseheath College, Scott Paskin who is employed by Dewsbury and Proud and attends Stafford College and Joe Hughes from ALC Vehicles and attends Wiltshire College. The standard was so high that Scott Paskin from Dewsbury and Proud was announced as the Highly Commended National Level 2 finalist.
A total of three national finalists were shortlisted for the National Level 3 award. TXM Plant’s Ciaran Warnes was declared the winner and also in contention were A-Plant’s Tyler Lloyd who attends Reaseheath College and Liebherr’s Adam Counihan who attends Stafford College and was last year’s National Level 2 Star of the Future winner.
For the first time, Stars of the Future was held directly alongside a Schools Experience Day to help influence career choices amongst young people from local schools. Over 100 children aged 11-14 from schools in the Coventry, Birmingham and surrounding areas attended the ‘Can U Dig It? Yes U Can’ event to see some of the latest construction machinery and to talk to some of the leading players in the industry, including A-Plant, AMI Group, Berry Cranes, Boecker UK, Clee Hill Plant, Falcon Cranes, IPAF, JCB and Liebherr about how they could potentially start off their careers. The Schools Experience Day was hosted in conjunction with Big Bang Near Me.