Posted on 23 November 2021

A Leeds College of Building Apprentice is celebrating after winning a prestigious regional Transport Planning award.

Michael Richardson (20) won The Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) North East & Cumbria Branch Regional Apprentice of the Year Award (2021) at a special virtual awards ceremony.

Michael is a 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 his post in September 2020.

Working across the Tees Valley, Michael supports all modes of transport by 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.

CIHT President, Deborah Sims, presented the awards alongside speaker Martin Tugwell, past CIHT President and now Chief Executive for Transport for the North. The accolade recognises the efforts of a rising star in the region who consistently goes above and beyond in their daily duties to assist their colleagues.

In support of his bid, it was noted how Michael is an “invaluable and popular member of the team with a natural aptitude” with a “strong work ethos and is enthusiastic and committed” with him “working well beyond the level expected of an apprentice”.

It was clear from the submission that Michael has made fantastic start to his first few years in the industry and was a very worthy winner of this year’s Apprentice of the Year.

Peter Conlan, Principal Transportation Consultant at Cundall and Chair of the North East and Cumbria CIHT Branch

A member of the CIHT judging panel commented: 

“Michael is making exceptional progress demonstrating knowledge and skills which exceed the level expected of an apprentice. His commitment to personal and professional development and delivering sustainable and inclusive transport solutions in Tees Valley are commendable.”  

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, joined those congratulating Michael for his achievement. He said:

“I’ve made it a priority to back quality apprenticeships across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, and we’re leading by example – proving you can stay local and go far. Michael has shown how much young people can get out of apprenticeships and has gone that extra mile to support his team and help improve our region. […] I’d like to say congratulations, offer him my thanks and wish him all the best as he continues on his journey to a well-paid, good-quality career.”

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

“This is richly deserved in my opinion since Michael has proven to be an exemplary student at the college and has made a great start to his Transport Planning Apprenticeship. Michael will add this achievement to his Skills Portfolio, which sits alongside an excellent paper submitted for this year's ITS(UK) Essay Award. Well done, Michael.”

I like my role because it allows me to have a positive impact on my local area and the people within it and my apprenticeship and the skills I’ve learned will be vital for my future career as a Transport Planner.

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:

Transport Planning Technician Apprentice Michael Richardson with Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen.

Transport Planning Technician Apprentice Michael Richardson with Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen.