CECA Wales Annual Awards and Dinner 2021

We hosted the CECA Wales Annual Dinner and Awards at the Hilton Hotel, Cardiff on 22nd October 2021. Our last event was in 2019 but because of the pandemic our 2020 event was cancelled. So this year’s event was eagerly awaited and didn’t disappoint. It was great to see old friends and colleagues again and particularly pleasing to see so many younger people at the event. No surprise in a way given that we were not only announcing our 2021 Award Winners but also formally recognising our 2020 winners.

CECA Wales Annual Dinner and Awards 2021
Warming up for the night ahead
“Face to face” meetings again
“A view from above”

We also heard from both our outgoing chair, Mike McAndrew of Tarmac, and our incoming chair, Mark Bowen of Andrew Scott Ltd, who are both passionate advocates of the civil engineering industry and gave excellent speeches to the delegates, a review from Mike and a forward look from Mark. Both speeches highlighted many of the concerns which are currently troubling our sector but I’ll save these for a future blog.

Mike McAndrew – CECA Wales Chair
CECA Wales Chairs “handing over”!
CECA Wales Chair – Mark Bowen
“On with the proceedings!”- Ed Evans, CECA Wales Director
A totally focused audience!
Again, a totally focused audience!
Our guest speaker Lowri Morgan – and Alasdair!
On with the Awards

Our 2020 Awards took place last year via social media as a result of the pandemic. So this year it was great to be able to meet in person at our Annual Dinner and celebrate last year’s winners as well as announcing the 2021 winners. For us the Awards are about our people rather than our projects. Our people are the lifeblood of the industry, they’re the ones who make things happen. But, of course, it’s our projects which are visible for all to see so we shared a short film of a few of the projects which CECA Wales members have been involved in over the last few years. You can see the film here https://youtu.be/kQSfNy0vpcM

We recognised last year’s award winners and, for the record, here they are again :

  • Most Promising Trade Apprentice 2020 – a high commendation went to Kate Bowen of Encon Civil Engineering but the winner was Joel Gilliett of Kaymac Civil Engineering.
  • Most Promising Trainee Graduate Civil Engineer 2020 – Elliott Bidmead of Jones Bros.
  • Most Promising Trainee Technician Civil Engineer 2020 – Rhys Williams of Alun Griffiths
  • Most Promising Trainee Quantity Surveyor 2020 – Rebecca Manley of Alun Griffiths
  • Special Recognition Award – Joseph Tucker of Knights Brown for showing compassion in the workplace by safely supporting two distressed members of public and helping to develop Knights Brown’s mental health programme.

And then we moved on to the 2021 Awards. We recognised the fact that this has been a difficult period for many but especially for young people seeking to develop themselves and their careers during the disruption of Covid lockdowns and changes to the usual modes of training and education. But that certainly didn’t impacted the quality of people coming forward for our Awards. And here they are :

Most Promising Trade Apprentice 2021 : Thomas Taylor of Knights Brown with a high commendation for Caspar Farquahar of Kaymac Civil Engineering.

Apprentice of the Year 2021 – Thomas Taylor, Knights Brown
Caspar Farquahar of Kaymac Civils – highly commended apprentice 2021

Most Promising Trainee Graduate Civil Engineer Award 2021 : whilst we had a very strong lineup including James Williams of Balfour Beatty, Gethin Owen of Jones Bros, David Shilabeer of Knights Brown and Charley Hawkins of Kaymac, the clear winner was Gethin Owen of Jones Bros Ruthun.

Gethin Owen of Jones Bros Ruthin, Graduate of the Year 2021

Most Promising Trainee Technician Civil Engineer Award 2021 : again a very strong lineup including Harri Morgan of Walters, Tom Webb of Walters and Luke Jones of Knights Brown but the winner was Luke Jones of Knights Brown.

Technician of the Year 2021, Luke Jones of Knights Brown

Most Promising Trainee Quantity Surveyor 2021 : from a strong line-up including Dan Griffiths of Knights Brown, Aled Griffiths of Alun Griffiths, Gruff Roberts of Walters, Sarah May of Balfour Beatty and Jac Dew of BAM, the winner was Sarah May of Balfour Beatty with a high commendation for Gruff Roberts of Walters

Sarah May of Balfour Beatty, QS of the Year 2021
Gruff Roberts of Walters, highly commended QS 2021

Longyfarchiadau/Congratulations to all of them.

And, as is always the case, all who entered the 2020 and 2021 Awards were invited to our Leadership Challenge on 18th and 19th November at Cwrt y Gollen Training Camp near Crickhowell in the south (see separate blog) and next March at Kinmel Training Camp in the north. The Challenge helps our young people to further develop their leadership and teamwork skills and move forward in their careers and it’s become a firm part of our calendar.

The Army in Wales and the Leadership Challenge

And so on to our Guest Speaker, Lowri Morgan.

Guest Speaker, Lowri Morgan

Lowri is a Welsh television presenter and marathon runner. She has presented S4C’s coverage of the World Rally Championship and the magazine show Uned 5. Lowri is one of six people to have completed the Amazon Ultra Marathon and also finished the 350-mile 6633 Ultra in the Arctic.

Lowri Morgan
Captivating the audience!

But of course, this special evening in our calendar was ultimately about just meeting up with old friends and colleagues and having a good time. Here’s a few photos for you to enjoy.