The rail company has also announced 36 new apprenticeship roles – including at Oxley – as the UK marks National Apprenticeship Week. They will be in areas such as engineering, project management and supply chain.
Apprenticeships at Alstom offers trainees the chance to earn while they learn. Alongside their day job, apprentices will spend at least 20 per cent of their working hours undergoing learning at university or college, additional training and studying. The new cohort is expected to start working at the company from September.
The awards are designed to recognise the exceptional impact of apprentices at Alstom in the UK working across a range of railway-related fields, including engineering, manufacture, design, maintenance, digital and integrated systems, procurement and logistics.
Jay Wootton was Level 4 (higher) apprentice of the year. He works as a mechanical designer at the Wolverhampton-based Midlands Traincare Centre, one of five similar facilities operated by Alstom along the West Coast Main Line and where Avanti West Coast’s high-speed Pendolino (Class 390) and AT300 (Class 805) trains are serviced.
As part of his varied role, Jay has become the site lead for 3D printing. He has secured funding for two new 3D printers in Oxley, which are now being used daily to produce specialist tools in both metal and plastic that are supporting a wide range of business functions.
The judges also praised the 23-year-old’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, which saw him design parts of a refurbished double-decker bus for Birmingham-based charity, Suited for Success. The bus operates as a pop-boutique, offering free interview clothing upstairs for unemployed people. Meanwhile, coaching booths and computers on the lower deck provide a space for interview preparation and job applications respectively.
On receiving his award, Jay said: “I would like to thank my manager, Dave Sanders, for nominating me; I wasn’t expecting it. I’m grateful for the opportunities that Alstom has given me so far, which has allowed me to explore the world of engineering and contribute to real-life projects.”
He added: “Having the recognition from Alstom and my direct team will make me strive for greater success in the future. I will be continuing to use the 3D printers for rapid prototyping and jigs to troubleshoot any issues on modifications and installations I work on in the future.”
Joshua Eaton, aged 20, won, Level 3 (advanced) apprentice of the year. He is also is based at Oxley and works as a rail engineering technician.
Joshua has enjoyed several milestone achievements in his career to date, notably creating a work standard for contractors to follow when upgrading Wi-Fi on the Pendolinos. Joshua also achieved a depot driving qualification – a lifelong ambition – which enables him to drive trains around the depot.
On his training, Wolverhampton-based Joshua said: “Since starting my apprenticeship at Alstom, I have experienced an incredible personal and professional transformation, with my role offering countless opportunities to nurture essential skills that I will rely on throughout my career.”
He added: “One aspect I am particularly proud of developing as an apprentice is refining my communication skills, which is vital in the context of railway operations, where precision and safety are paramount. For me, Alstom is not just a workplace; it’s a journey of becoming a better me for a better us.”
The judges were impressed with Joshua’s dedication to Alstom beyond his core duties, including his role as a mental health ambassador at Oxley and volunteering at a family fun day, where he operated a model railway for visitors to enjoy.
“Alstom is incredibly proud to celebrate the winners of our inaugural apprenticeship awards. Apprenticeships are hugely important to our dynamic workforce as apprentices bring fresh perspectives, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. They are also helping us address national skills gaps by building a pipeline of fantastic talent for the future,” said James Gray, human resources director UK and Ireland at Alstom.
He added: “Each year we are blown away by the aptitude and passion of the winners from across the country, who are all motivated in addressing the challenges of tomorrow’s mobility in a responsible way. I would encourage anyone looking for a new challenge to consider one of our varied apprenticeship roles, all of which help us contribute to a low carbon future by developing and promoting innovative transportation solutions that passengers enjoy riding.”
As the country’s foremost supplier of new trains and train services, and a leading signalling and infrastructure provider, Alstom has around 6,000 employees in the UK and Ireland, who are based at 37 sites. Alongside apprenticeships (from Level 2 to 6) Alstom also offers a postgraduate apprenticeship (Level 7) and a two-year graduate programme, as well as work experience in a number of functions.
For more information about apprenticeships at Alstom and to apply, please visit www.alstom.com/work-alstom-uk-ireland
You can also register interest in applying for an apprenticeship via Alstom’s Virtual Assistant via https://alstom.sensehqchat.com/s/welcome.