2019 Young Manager of the Year

Young Manager of the Year sponsored by sponsored by Metroline

Winner, Gold Award, Jack Abbott – Stagecoach Manchester

Fleet Engineer, Jack Abbot has transformed the performance at Stagecoach Manchester’s Middleton Depot in just 18 months. Jack took on the challenge to make Middleton a stand-alone depot, undertaking all engineering work on-site. He has worked extremely hard to motivate and inspire his team to perform to high standards and to continually improve performance. His clear direction and proactive approach is reflected in the depot achieving a reduction in lost mileage and an MOT pass rate of 98%. Jack’s commitment to continuously improve the quality and reliability of services for the benefit of customers led him to introduce a recognition programme for engineers across the company earlier this year. He is a strong leader and motivator of his team and has made impressive improvements to staff morale and performance during his time at Middleton, achieving a 91% staff satisfaction score in our 2018 staff survey and dramatically reducing turnover from 32% to 5.6%.

Having impressed the judges with his meteoric rise from the shop floor to depot manager within ten years – four of which was as an apprentice – they felt that Jack has great potential for higher positions in technical and general management. He shows a good knowledge of wider issues, both in Manchester and the industry in general. He is passionate about his staff and giving them the skills they need to do their jobs effectively. Jack’s path into management should provide inspiration for other shop floor staff.

Winner, Silver Award, Kerrie Grant – Go South Coast – Bluestar

After studying for her Psychology and Sociology degree where she achieved 2.2 BA Honours from University of Stirling), Kerrie wanted a career choice that would put this to good use. So, she knew it had to be an industry with a people focus – buses were the obvious answer (or perhaps challenge!), as she was a regular user of the bus service whilst studying at Uni. Kerrie joined First Group on their graduate programme and at the end of her two-year training, became an Acting Staff Manager at First Southampton. She joined Go South Coast in June 2016 as an Assistant Operations Manager for our Salisbury Reds brand and her career has continued to progress as she is now Assistant Operations Manager for the prestigious Unilink contract for the University of Southampton, managing a team of 79 drivers and a PVR of 29 buses.

Kerrie Grant impressed the judges with her passion and demonstration of the skills to give her a success managerial career.

Winner, Bronze Award, Adam Green – Arriva Kent and Surrey

Adam was quiet and unassuming starting his graduate scheme when I joined Arriva. Owing to a series of leadership changes his need for support and assistance was overlooked. Rather than ‘accept’ this bad luck Adam directly challenged the situation and used it to his advantage, since then he has soared and is now the highly effective Operations Manager at my Maidstone Depot. Adam has determined approach to life and ‘gets’ the need for a high quality bus service to serve his customers lead successful and healthy lives. He has completely realigned his Duty Manager team through spending time with them one to one to understand their needs and their hopes. He motivated them as a clever first step towards removing the former bad feeling between ‘management’ and drivers. Alongside this he has recast measures and monitoring to ensure a focus on leading indicators to drive better performance where it matters (absence, lost mileage and complaints) and not on ‘data’ for the stake of it. Stakeholder engagement is another area that Adam has worked hard to get right and he has managed to turn stakeholder perceptions, particularly his local TU representative and the Maidstone Schools Liaison Committee which he has steadily turned to friend from foe thanks to hard work and delivering improvements to services.

The bronze winner was described by the judges as ‘a very talented young man with all the qualities for a successful career’.

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