This Award focuses specially on the talent we will all rely on to deliver our bus services for the next 20 years and more: the young managers, currently delivering and planning services at the sharp end - but whose skills will be vitally important over the coming years as the bus increasingly comes to be seen as an aid to reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change.
Winner: Ben Wakerley
Ben became the youngest of First's Depot General Managers, aged 28, with responsibility for 400 staff and 110 vehicles at Willesden Junction Garage. “He has since succeeded in motivating his team, turning it from a mid-table to a Champions League contender,” his bosses told us. “Ben firmly believes in enhancing and developing the working environment and donates his own time as a Trustee of the Transport Benevolent Fund.”
The judges were very impressed by Ben's achievements, by his commitment to the industry and to the people with whom he works. He is passionate about the industry, its staff and above all its customers.
Runner Up: Andrew Edwards
Despite being just 26, Andy Edwards has made a significant impression on the bus industry. At the time of the nomination, he was managing 430 drivers and 151 buses in Bristol, the biggest city in the South West. He had built up good working relations with staff union representatives, and worked hard to reduce incidences of staff sickness and collisions, all with positive results. Since being nominated and short-listed. he has won promotion and has moved to First London's Lea Interchange garage, named London Bus Garage of the Year in the 2011 Awards.
Sarah Anderson – Marketing Manager, Stagecoach East Scotland
Sarah Anderson is an outstanding young manager within the bus industry. Her contribution to marketing within numerous Stagecoach companies has led to signifcant improvements in service quality which has yielded passenger growth and revenue development and enhanced the overall performance of the company.
Graeme Leslie - Stagecoach Bluebird
After joining the Stagecoach graduate training scheme in September 2008, following an excellent year of progress for a depot in Southern England and his personal development Graeme received a promotion to Operations Manager in Moray in November 2010 where he has worked tirelessly to understand the people and network in order to bring about a series of improvements to the operation.
Judges' Overall Verdict
On the basis of this, the fourth year of competition, the future of the industry is in safe hands - and this year's nominees all illustrate the value of the graduate training schemes now being run by the big groups. All this year's competitors were able to demonstrate real achievements in their current and previous posts - and, importantly, to take real pride in them. All had oitstanding people skills and their presentations and subsequent Q&A sessions were both interesting and enjoyable.
After a fallow period in the 1990s, the combination of attractive graduate training schemes and the industry's green credentials mean that operators once more seem able to attract top quality young people, and the judges expressed the hope that they will have an even bigger field to choose from in 2012.
Who could be nominated?
This Award was open to all managers under the age of 30 who:
- lead an organisation or major business unit in a professional capacity
- own and operate their own business employing more than five people
- work in a local authority, government department or quasi non-governmental organisation with functional responsibility for more than five staff
and by whom?
We welcomed nominations from all eligible organisations, both of their own employees and of outstanding young managers with whom they work in partnership or as stakeholders. Self-nomination was not permitted for this category.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
The judges will reach their decision on the quality of the written submissions made by the nominating organisation and by the nominees themselves.
Short-listed entrants will be required to make a presentation to the judges and be interviewed by them.
Nominating organisations must be able to demonstrate that the nominees have shown excellence in management and leadership and that this has been recognised by them.
Nominees must be able to demonstrate:
- An ability to manage complex tasks, people, processes and the environment in which their organisation operates
- Effective communication skills with both staff and stakeholders
- A commitment to mentoring or other leadership activities
- Demonstrable ability to perform to a budget.
Short-listed finalists were required to make a 10-minute presentation either:
- on the role of their organisation in the community and the wider transport market, or
- on a subject of their own choosing relevant to the transport industry
And to answer questions from the judging panel (also 10 minutes).