The RailStaff Awards 2019

Patricia Thompson

Said the following about Iain Thompson:

“TXM Plant are a rail construction company and the UK’s largest supplier of Road Rail vehicles. Iain took on the role of Business Apprenticeship Manager 2 years ago at a time when the business had nothing in place to fully support our rail apprentices and their learning development needs. Iain himself, had little experience with apprentices but made what I thought was a bold statement. He promised we would be recognised as having one of the top apprenticeship programmes in our sector within 2 years. His passion, determination and work ethic were very high, and this was clear to see.

Iain thoroughly deserves this award, he lived up to his promise through sheer determination, innovation and vision. Within 2 years the business went from having nothing in place for apprentices and their learning development to;

• Gained the business Apprenticeship diversity champions network accreditation.

• Disability committed and confident status.

• Created Internal apprentice staff support initiatives officially approved and accredited by CPD to support learning and development needs of staff supporting/mentoring apprentices.

• Created Post apprenticeship support initiatives approved and accredited by CPD to support learning and development needs of apprentice’s post apprenticeship to ease them into their careers/full-time roles.

• Gained the business 5% club membership and has maintained 5% or more of business employees as apprentices.

• Taken on in its entirety the digital apprenticeship service accounts and funding and created an upskilling programme for all our organisations existing employees who manage facilities/depots across the country, to allow them to learn, develop and study at diploma levels to enhance their careers and learning and development, fully funded.

• Iain has also found the time to become and apprenticeship champion ambassador promoting learning and development opportunities within schools and communities.

• Has become a CITB construction ambassador supporting schools and communities regarding the support and education within the construction industry.

• Iain has also committed the business to become a STEM ambassador to influence and encourage the younger generations to think about careers in STEM fields, emphasising on the female skill gaps within STEM subjects.

• Being Ex-military, Iain has shown a passion for the learning and development of ex-service personnel and has committed to the armed forces covenant.

Since Iain introduced all these factors into the business, our apprentices have won at one stage or another all national apprenticeship award including, regional, regional-central, national and NCC apprentice of the year awards. Iain has also introduced an internal annual apprentice of the year award to recognise excellence in learning and development, this has been a huge success and well received by the business.

Iain hasn’t just transformed our apprenticeship programme, he has rebuilt/restructured it entirely with the apprentices learning and development needs at the forefront of his mind. The icing on the cake was our Network Rail audit that scored the apprenticeship programme at 100%, the highest score within any factor of their audit on our business and was the only business within our sector to receive such a score. This was the confirmation Iain required to successfully achieve his promised he made and was done within the 2 years as suggested.

This would have been a huge project for the most experienced worker, Iain has achieved this all on a low expenditure and it has created nothing but positive results. The business can now boast a fully immersive, comprehensive apprenticeship programme, promoting not only new apprentice but the learning and development of existing staff. This has had huge benefits on the organisation, utilising our apprenticeship levy and giving out staff the skills necessary to do their roles more efficiently, in turn saving the business money while, helping to achieve company targets and promoting a positive message nationally.

As if this wasn’t enough, Iain has since come up with a concept that can be used as a learning and development tool/software that provides tools of support to students, parents, schools and teachers. This is currently being developed and has gained much attention from government bodies and organisations such as The Princes Trust. If Iain applies himself to this in the same manner, I have no doubt this will succeed and benefit learning and development on a national scale.

Iain’s innovation, initiative, creativity, leadership and determination are second to none, his efforts have had a direct and positive contribution to the business and our employees.“