Posted on 30/08/18

CN Talent Awards 2018 - Finalists Announced

The shortlist for the CN Talent Awards 2018 has been revealed following a record-breaking year for entries. Panels of expert judges will now be tasked with assessing all the finalists, before the winners are announced at a glittering awards ceremony on 21 November.

The CN Talent Awards recognise the people and businesses creating a more attractive and inclusive industry, as well the companies doing exceptional work to improve the sector’s reputation, professionalism and practices.

A total of 106 entries have been shortlisted across 15 categories, which cover everything from apprenticeships, diversity and wellbeing through to the best project teams and places to work.

Walker Construction are finalists in 4 of the 15 categories.

Here’s a snapshot of our finalists ahead of this year’s gala awards ceremony on 21 November.

Finley Beadle – Apprentice of the Year 18

Finley started with Walker Construction straight from School; following a number of years working for our Ross Way Division, he started to feel like he was treading water with no real sense of purpose in what he was doing. So, Finley was placed on our newly launched Apprenticeship Scheme.

With Finley having a good understanding of general construction works through his experiences since leaving School, he has completely embraced and aced the training. Finley has shown great enthusiasm for the learning, but also takes great pride in the implementation of what he has learnt when he comes back to Site.

Finley’s attitude is second to none, he never moans or complains about mundane tasks and is always dependable. Much can be said about the cold and wet days, but Finley has a determined approach and will get things done that are asked of him, come rain or shine. His zealous and dynamic outlook has had a massive impact, not only on the sites he works on, but that of his fellow apprentices and the section too. Finley has a natural ability to lead and has actively jumped into the role of mentoring and inspiring new talent.

This apprenticeship has been a really positive step in Finley’s career, we all have high hopes for him and that he achieves all he strives for.

Pamela Lilley – HR Star of the Year 18

Due to ongoing expansion, the new board of Directors felt the appointment of Pamela in 2014 had become a necessity. Entrusting Pamela with the task of not only implementing new policies and procedures, but also working on a mammoth culture change.

Pamela swiftly identified areas for improvement and proposed a number of programmes and initiatives to improve the day-to-day running of the business.

Pamela has provided innovative solutions to address employee retention within the company, by addressing wider industry issues such as diversity and inclusion along with health and wellbeing, internal upskilling/promotion and rewards.

Pamela has provided a platform for team members to voice ideas, celebrate their wins and achievements but most of all she strengthened the foundations of which the company was built.

Defined as an employee champion, Pamela has taken accountability for the organisational architecture and continues to work tirelessly to drive systems, skills, rewards and processes in line with the company’s model. For example her work in diversity and inclusion, advocating the company’s Women in Construction forum.

Waterloo Upgrade Team – Project Team of the Year 18

Lengthening platforms 1 to 4 would have been relatively straightforward if the approach was straight – but it’s not, it’s curved, and that’s the problem. Carrying out the work would close over half of London Waterloo’s 19 platforms - causing intolerable levels of disruption, if not managed correctly.

Skanska - responsible for the civils’ element of the project, approached Walker Construction for pre-tender discussions. After three presentations, visits to previous jobs, receiving positive comments from past clients and detailed discussions with our team about how we would carry out the project, Skanska made their decision: 3rd April 2017, with just 18 weeks to go before the blockade, we were awarded the contract. The key reason being, in Skanska’s words, our “proactive approach to the job” – having examined the plan, the project team identified a number of issues and then used our experience to suggest practical, sometimes imaginative, solutions to both address them and help alleviate pressure on the tight timetable.

Senior Management identified that to staff the project effectively, the team would treat each of the four islands as an autonomous site, each would be individually managed with overall project coordination coming from an over-arching, management team. The idea being, to ensure dedicated focus, team pride and an element of competition.

Phil Webb, Walker Construction’s MD – and someone known to lead by example – stepped up to the plate, joining the management team on the coal face to help deliver the project. This attitude and ethos echoed throughout the company, with a total workforce of over 160 staff every day, the project pulled resources from across its three divisions – Rail, Civils and Building.

Stuart Caldwell – Mentor of the Year 18

Stuart has grown up within Walker Construction, starting with us in 2000 as a general foreman and working his way up through the ranks to Project Manager on our Civil Engineering section.

Stuart has worked determinedly, encouraging numerous mentees; some new to the business, and others who are now progressing through the management ranks themselves.

Stuart appreciates that the industry is facing a skills shortage, and has been fundamental in the company’s drive to tackle the issue. Stuart has been a mentor for three of our 2017 apprenticeship intake and has been the obvious choice for our next cohort.  Stuart consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty, providing support for the apprentices under his care in all areas of their working life.

In a specific example of his holistic approach, Stuart has offered support both in and out of work to all of our apprentices, one of whom is a care-leaver.  He has assisted in finding suitable and affordable accommodation, and has ensured that he is always available as both a colleague, as a friend, and mentor; to speak in confidence about any issues.

Stuart’s hands-on approach has also served as an inspiration to our apprentices, as well as other colleagues.  Being able to learn from someone who is committed, hard-working, and compassionate.  Stuart’s approachable attitude and dedication to teaching only promotes this.  He is a wonderful ambassador for Walker Construction, and a perfect example for our apprentices to aspire to of what can be achieved with enthusiasm and perseverance.

We are very proud of our finalists and all they have achieved. We hope their stories can go onto inspire individuals around the UK. Now, we wait for the glitzy awards ceremony in November. Fingers crossed.