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Insights Congratulations to our Young Professional Award winners!

Our Young Professional Award judges have had a busy summer reviewing dozens of applications that were submitted from graduates and apprentices who put themselves in the running to win an award in the inaugural year of the recognition scheme.  There were 73 applications in total and some tough choices had to be made but we’re now ready to reveal the winners…

27 February 2018

Tied for Graduate of the Year are Magnus Rannala (Energy) and Jenny Willbourn (ADS&T)

Ryan Clayton (Energy) has been recognised as Higher Apprentice of the Year

Advanced Apprentice of the Year goes to Millie Coombes (Transportation)

Magnus, Jenny, Ryan and Millie will be attending the evening event of the Graduate Induction or Apprentice Induction later this month.  Here, they will get the opportunity to have dinner with members of the UK&E senior leadership team and will be awarded their trophy in front of the new cohort of graduates/apprentices, getting the chance to speak and inspire the new intake.

These colleagues each presented to a senior panel. In addition to providing an overview of their experiences in Atkins, a member of the AtkinsRéalis group, to date, they also took part in a Q&A session where they answered a variety of questions about their application, contribution to projects, and opinion on topics such as diversity and inclusion.  

Sharron Pamplin, HR director, UK&E, thoroughly enjoyed her experience as sponsor and judge: “These awards are a special opportunity to step back from the fast pace of the work day and recognise the many contributions that our graduates and apprentices bring to our business and client work. The calibre of the submissions was incredibly high and speaks to the strength of our early careers programme. Everyone in our business has a role to play in the development of our graduates and apprentices so their achievements are something for us all to celebrate and be proud of.”

About the Young Professional Awards

The Young Professional Awards scheme was developed by our graduate and apprentice community to recognise the rising stars in Atkins and Faithful+Gould, a member of the AtkinsRéalis group, in the UK & Europe.  The awards are a fantastic opportunity for our young professionals to raise their profile within the business and gain recognition for all they bring to our work and clients. 

About the UK & Europe Graduate and Apprentice of the Year winners

Jenny Willbourn (Graduate of the Year) has a First Class MSci in Geography from the University of Bristol and a Masters with Distinction in GIS and Applied Remote Sensing from Southampton University.  She is currently a GIS Consultant for the Geospatial Analysis Team within ADS&T, where she focuses on delivering high quality solutions and support for projects that have a requirement for spatial data interpretation, manipulation, management and analysis. Jenny is currently working on geospatial technical solutions for East West Rail Phase 2 (EWR2) and has just returned from working on the Malawi National Transport Master Plan in Lilongwe (Malawi’s Capital) where she headed up a client-focused GIS training course.  Jenny’s passion for her work has been described as infectious and she hopes to develop her skills in teaching geospatial solutions, a challenge she relishes in her role.

Ryan Clayton (Higher Apprentice of the Year) took engineering in his A levels and chose the apprenticeship route so he could get straight into working life.  He’s just completed his Higher Apprenticeship and foundational degree in mechanical engineering, and his next goal is to complete an Honours degree which he plans to do part-time in addition to his role with Atkins. Ultimately, Ryan would like to be chartered as a mechanical engineer and progress to more senior management roles within the energy sector, a part of our business that he finds very interesting. He’s currently seconded to Sofinel as the piping design support lead on Hinkley Point C.  Ryan is the first Atkins apprentice to fill this position and the quality of his work has encouraged Sofinel to bring another apprentice into the team.  Ryan is passionate about continuous improvement and has been instrumental in the ongoing development of Energy’s apprenticeship scheme, working with Energy’s senior leadership team to make significant improvements and introducing the business’ first apprenticeship forum.

Millie Coombes (Advanced Apprentice of the Year) attended an all-girls grammar school until the age of 18, attaining 14 GCSEs and 3 A levels (Geography, English Literature and Physics). Since joining Atkins on the apprenticeship programme, she’s attended the local college – completing her work-based national vocation qualification Level 3 alongside a BTEC Level 3 which received a Distinction* Distinction Star. Millie hopes to continue on to a degree apprenticeship this academic year to progress and diversify her skills, which she has lent to projects such as Crossrail, Market Harborough and Meridian Water. Millie is a champion of our strong safety culture and it was on the Meridian Water project that she highlighted and raised a safety issue before it could cause delays to the project, which would have impacted budget and Atkins’ reputation.