CONEL apprentice Chris Redshaw, 17, also won the Apprentice of the Year award at the award ceremony in Northampton last month.
Chris, who is undertaking his apprenticeship with global transport technology giant Bombardier, was praised by his teachers for his commitment and work ethic, which has earned him the attention of several industry bodies.
He said: “It’s amazing to have won the award and it’s such an honour to get this kind of recognition from the industry.”
The Advanced Engineering Centre has seen incredible growth since it was set up in 2016 and now provides training for more than 150 apprentices through its partnerships with companies including Bombardier, Siemens, Eurostar, Alstom, Hitachi and Virgin.
CONEL was nominated for the Training Provider of the Year by the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR).
NSAR said: “The rail industry has a skills shortage. It needs to attract new talent and improve the diversity of its workforce. Through its investment and actions, both with the industry and with the local community, CONEL has attracted potential apprentices and apprentice places from employers within the rail industry.
“This has been complemented by quality delivery – quality approved by NSAR – and strong links with rail employers. The net result is that rail engineering apprentice numbers at CONEL have grown to over 150 in just two years. This is a really impressive achievement for the industry and illustrates clearly what can happen when a FE college works hard with both the local community and employers.”
This commendation of CONEL’s training provision was echoed by John Howes, Head of Training and Competency at Bombardier.
He said: “CONEL has made a significant commitment to support the rail industry with an ongoing programme of investment in equipment and teaching staff to provide a first class facility to support the significant growth and development of the rail industry in London and the South.”
Barry Connelly, Strategic Adviser for Engineering at CONEL, was delighted to receive the award on behalf of the college.
“Rail projects planned for the next few years will demand more and more skilled railway engineers. Our facility is well positioned to provide these skilled engineers and I am confident that we will continue to deliver for the rail industry.
“I am proud of the great links we have built with industry over the last two years, and we plan to continue to develop these relationships to deliver an even better service.”