Three TRU apprentices in running for major rail industry awards

TRU apprentices Oliver Cann, Bethany Draper and Asher Thomas have all received nominations for the 2024 Young Rail Professionals Awards.
Date 08.02.24

As TRU celebrates National Apprenticeship Week, the multi-billion-pound rail upgrade between Manchester and York has seen three of its young team members’ contributions recognised nationally.

Oliver Cann, Bethany Draper and Asher Thomas, who are all apprentices on TRU, have been nominated in the the Young Rail Professionals Awards. Oliver and Bethany are both up for the Young Rail Professionals’ Apprentice of the Year Award, whilst Asher has been nominated for Young Rail Professional of the Year.

The Young Rail Professionals Awards ceremony is an annual celebration recognising the achievements of professionals within the rail industry at varying stages of their careers. Spread across eight categories, winners are chosen by a judging panel and announced at the annual dinner in London.

Oliver Cann (24) has been part of the TRU team for over 18 months – from consents and surveys to utilities and development projects, his role as Apprentice Planning Assistant means he plays a vital part in the progress being made on the route between Leeds and Church Fenton.

His dedication recognised, Oliver said:

“I’m proud to have received this nomination and grateful for the support I get from everyone on the team who’ve always given me opportunities to learn new skills and put them to use.”

Commercial Apprentice, Bethany Draper (20), joined the Transpennine Route Upgrade in September 2022 – her involvement in the commercial and procurement processes on the route between Mossley and Slaithwaite includes cost management and reporting, applications and certifications as well as governance and tendering.

Bethany stated a key influence on her decision to take on an apprenticeship as opposed to the more commonly taken university path was that

“’re able to establish your career at a very young age and network with people.”

“They say it’s not what you know, but who you know, and I think apprenticeships give you a big head start in that.”

Upon receiving her award nomination, Bethany added:

“It’s symbolic of how TRU values the hard work of their apprentices – I put in a lot of effort, aim to add as much value as I can and feel as though my team recognise this. I’m really lucky to be influenced by such amazing people!”

Asher Thomas (29) is a Designated Project Engineer for TRU, responsible for all engineering technical assurance of the designs and delivery of the programme.

Part of the TRU team since 2017, Asher joined through the Network Rail Graduate Scheme as a Civil Engineer – a path that eventually lead him to the role of Engineering Manager – he is now undertaking a Departmental & Operations Management apprenticeship to further his abilities in leading and managing teams.

With his endeavours acknowledged, Asher is keen to stay on track:

“It’s an honour to be nominated for Young Professional of the Year and to be recognised by peers in the industry for my efforts.

“I’ll continue to hone my skills through my apprenticeship to be a better manager and leader in the future.”

These are just three stories out of over 250 – as of National Apprenticeship Week 2024, TRU is fast approaching the halfway mark of our ambitions to bring on 590 apprentices and the successes of Oliver, Bethany and Asher embody our commitment to the TRU Social Values. 

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