Outstanding Apprentice Wins Freight Industry Award
Marking their 30th anniversary, BIFA’s Freight Service Awards were presented by sporting legend Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes at a glittering ceremony in London on 17 January. The event was attended by 500 sponsors, industry representatives and invited guests, and saw eleven keenly-contested awards delivered for the first time - including the first Apprentice of the Year award.
In total, five finalists were shortlisted for the award and underwent face-to-face or telephone interviews with the judging panel. Tom, originally recruited by Outsource, part of the Seetec group, was praised by judges Emma Bates, Learning and Development Manager, IAG Cargo and Sharon Greer, General Manager, Agency Sector Management (UK) Limited, for his drive and ambition for the future.
Sponsoring the Apprentice of the Year category, Director of Outsource Nichola Hay also praised Manchester-based Tom for his inspirational qualities, commitment to personal development and significant contribution to Panalpina.
Nichola said, “Tom is a fantastic example of the difference apprentices can make to a business. Apprentices have never been more important in the logistics and freight forwarding sector for businesses looking to fill skills gaps and ensure development of their talent pipeline.
“The Apprenticeship Levy and funding reforms mean apprenticeships offer real workforce planning and people development solutions to large and small to medium businesses."
Chris Cooper, Panalpina’s Managing Director for the UK & Ireland, said: “We're really proud of all our apprentices and especially Tom, who is such a keen learner – he definitely has a bright future with us.”
Now promoted to Team Leader, Tom's role included overseeing the introduction of new customs software in the Manchester office, ensuring that all staff were trained appropriately and testing was undertaken prior to implementation.
Tom was recruited by Outsource and progressed from a Level 2 to completing a Level 4 apprenticeship. He said: “I really like working in logistics. I was initially unsure about an apprenticeship but I needed to get work experience.
“It’s hard work but I wanted to have the opportunity to get a good job. I genuinely believe it's helped me as I have been able to apply the business management theory I’ve learned to my job and bring about positive changes.
“I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who is ambitious and willing to give it everything. It's been a struggle, as I've been doing a full week’s work plus my course work. But I see it as an investment by myself and my employer which is already reaping rewards for my future.”
Robert Keen, BIFA Director General, said: “The BIFA Freight Service awards are all about rewarding excellence. All the companies that entered this year’s awards could have no finer example to follow than someone who struck Olympic gold twice in Athens in 2004.
“A BIFA Freight Service award, like an Olympic gold, is the ultimate reward for endeavour and professionalism and demonstrates high standards, determination and professionalism.”