Posted on 16 December 2021

A Leeds College of Building Apprentice is celebrating after winning a prestigious national Transport Planning award. Michael Richardson (20) won the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) Apprentice of the Year Award 2021.

CIHT's Apprentice of the Year Award celebrates the achievements of apprentices who work in the highways and transportation sector and the organisations that put them at the heart of their business.

Michael is a Level 3 Transport Planning Technician Apprentice at Tees Valley Combined Authority. Alongside studying at Leeds College of Building, Michael plays an essential role in delivering transport improvements in the Tees Valley region after taking up his post in September 2020.

Michael’s work involves all modes of transport across the Tees Valley, such as helping deliver electric vehicle charging points, looking at railway station enhancements, taking forward cycling and walking projects, exploring how digital schemes can improve transport, and on-demand bus service Tees Flex.

Michael is a worthy winner of this award as he impressed the judges with his passion, enthusiasm and his knowledge of our sector.

Deborah Sims FCIHT, CIHT President
Award-winning Transport Planning Technician Apprentice, Michael Richardson (R), with Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen (L).

Award-winning Transport Planning Technician Apprentice, Michael Richardson (R), with Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen (L).

The news comes just weeks after Michael picked up the CIHT North East & Cumbria Regional Apprentice of the Year award.

Derek Whitehead, Principal and CEO of Leeds College of Building, said:

“This is excellent news – it’s such a terrific outcome. Well done to Michael and the whole Transport Planning team at the College. Our expert staff have huge knowledge and experience in their field, and we are all so proud of Michael’s success.”


Alongside this award and his recent win at the regional CIHT awards, Michael is also in the running for the ITS(UK) Apprentice Essay Competition Award 2021.

Dr Paul E. Firmin, Lecturer in Transport Planning at Leeds College of Building, said:

“I would like to celebrate Michael's amazing success. He's one of our best students at Leeds College of Building, always shows willing, and is keen to enhance the early stages of his career. It's a pleasure to teach people like that.

“Congratulations also go to the College Transport Planning team for their support, effort, and encouragement of students. During my long career, I have never known a course produce so many ‘Apprentice of the Year’ award winners. It's quite unprecedented and indicates the calibre of young professional that are currently coming through our doors to receive their further education at the College. Long may it continue!” 

I’d like to thank Tees Valley Combined Authority for giving me the experience and responsibility which allowed me to win, and to everyone involved on the course at Leeds College of Building for teaching me the skills that I needed.

Michael Richardson

For further information about becoming a Transport Planning Apprentice or employing an Apprentice in your business, please email Sarah Carter at Leeds College of Building: