Posted on 22 November 2023

A former Leeds College of Building Transport Planning Technician Apprentice is top of the class after winning a coveted regional award.

Matt Riley, employed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, won ‘Apprentice of the Year 2023’ at The Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) Yorkshire & Humber annual awards.

CIHT is a charity, national society, and membership body which represents and qualifies professionals working in highways, transport infrastructure, and services.

The CIHT Yorkshire & the Humber Region held its annual awards dinner at the Double Tree Hilton in Leeds. Chair Michael Chung welcomed over 100 industry colleagues to celebrate the very best the region offers across the key areas of the highways and transportation industry.

The Awards recognise the outstanding contribution that good projects and people make to our daily lives, and the judging panel commented on the high calibre of entries throughout.

Matt said:

“I was absolutely delighted (and admittedly a little surprised!) to win the CIHT’s Apprentice of the Year 2023 for Yorkshire and the Humber. It wouldn’t have happened without the time and effort invested in me by the Transport Planning department at Leeds College of Building, who are a credit to the college, so special thanks go to them.

“It’s a proud moment for me, as I entered the Transport Planning world after being made redundant during the pandemic and was completely unfamiliar with the industry. The apprenticeship programme is a great way to kickstart your career, expand your skills, and push your limits – I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Matt successfully passed his apprenticeship End Point Assessment (EPA) earlier this year after being named Leeds College of Building Apprentice of the Year in 2022. Fellow apprentice Lewis Demetriou (employed by Bryan G Hall and who also trained at Leeds College of Building) was commended in the same award category.

Matt continued:

“I’m now looking to advance my career in Transport Planning by working towards Transport Planning Professional status within the next few years. Thanks to all my family, friends, colleagues, and LCB for helping me get here!”

Dr Paul E. Firmin, Lecturer in Transport Planning at the Leeds College of Building University Centre, added:

“I’d like to acknowledge this great success and sing the praises of these two excellent young professionals. I am sure that they both have super careers ahead of them in the Transport Planning & Highways industry.

“It was a widely varied and strong field of candidates on the night who represent some of the top employers in our industry. This is the latest in a long list of awards for our Transport Planning Technician Apprenticeship team and attests to our quality training offer and exceptional staff. Well done to both Matt and Lewis!”

The Leeds College of Building University Centre offers a range of higher education and professional/technical qualifications, such as the Civil Engineering Site Management Degree Apprenticeship. Other training includes degrees, higher-level apprenticeships, HNDs, HNCs, and T Level qualifications.

Guests at the awards were joined by the CIHT’s President, Karen McShane, together with representatives of other CIHT regions, ICE, and Chief Executive for Transport for the North, Martin Tugwell. Award sponsors included Balfour Beatty, Brightly Software, Roughan & O’Donovan, SCP, Tracsis and Waterman Aspen.

Find out more about the Transport Planning Technician Apprenticeship and how to enrol at Leeds College of Building here.