CHAMPAGNE corks were popping when an HS2 Apprentice from Stratford scooped a top award in Parliament on Monday (July 4).
Sam Arrowsmith was crowned HS2 Apprentice of the Year at the awards ceremony held at the Houses of Parliament.
And the award is a top accolade for the 21-year-old who joined the company building Britain’s new zero carbon railway in September 2020.
In fact, Mr Arrowsmith was recognised as a rising star on the project by HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson, who was particularly impressed with his “enthusiasm and constant pursuit of excellence”.
Mr Arrowsmith began his Level 4 Associate Project Management apprenticeship at the height of the Covid pandemic, a difficult time for a young person to be starting out in their career, but he didn’t let that faze him and instead relished the opportunities it presented, according to his colleagues.
With major construction projects given the green light to continue during lockdown restrictions, Mr Arrowsmith seized the opportunity to play a leading role in HS2’s ‘Back to Better’ group, which implemented measures to ensure the thousands of people supporting HS2’s construction remained safe.
He has since worked alongside senior leaders and HS2’s construction partners, to write a Learning Legacy paper, sharing details of the good practice measures that were put in place, so that major infrastructure projects of the future can benefit from the lessons learned.
Mr Arrowsmith’s dedication to the ‘Back to Better’ project didn’t detract from his day to day role in project management, so much so that he completed his two-year apprenticeship six months early and achieved the highest pass rate – 89 per cent – amongst his fellow 2020 cohort.
Presenting him with the Apprentice of the Year award, HS2 Minister Mr Stephenson said: “It’s an honour to be here today, as HS2 Minister, to celebrate the the extraordinary achievements of those dedicated to bringing this landmark project to life. Sam has achieved a huge amount in his short career. With his passion and enthusiasm he’ll go far, and I’m confident he’ll inspire others to step forward and play a part in this transformational project”.
While Mr Arrowsmith said: “It’s a real honour to be recognised and I’m so proud to have won this award. The last two years have flown by and now that I’ve finished my apprenticeship, I can’t wait to get started in my new role as assistant project manager. HS2 has really opened doors for me and I’m so proud to be part of the team that is building HS2 in my home county of Warwickshire”.