Cleveland Bridge UK apprentice Steven Liddle, who earlier this year earned national recognition, has now received a cherished award in memory of a long-standing employee.
The 21-year-old was named Metal Industry Craft Skills Apprentice of the Year in March 2018 and is the second recipient of the ‘Ron Maddison Award’, which celebrates the outstanding contributions made by an apprentice.
It was inspired by former employee Ron Maddison, a Training School Manager who supervised approximately 700 apprentices during a distinguished 51 year career with Cleveland Bridge.
Steven was presented with the trophy and prize by Ron’s son and daughter, Ken Maddison and Carol Lax, during a presentation event at the company’s Darlington factory.
Earlier this year, Steven, who is due to complete his fabrication apprenticeship in July, won a nationwide competition held by the Worshipful Company of the Tin Plate Workers alias Wire Workers.
As part of his interview and presentation, he highlighted his role in a major multi-bridge project the company is delivering in Sri Lanka and how his training has had a positive influence on his personal development.
Following Ron’s death in 2015 at the age of 90, his family chose to honour his memory by creating the award in conjunction with Cleveland Bridge to recognise the commitment, quality and aspirations of apprentices – qualities he dedicated himself to developing.
To win the award, apprentices are judged by various criteria including the biggest improvement, addressing safety concerns for themselves and others, accuracy of their work, flexibility, and efficiency and demonstrating an ability to help Cleveland Bridge UK implement its core values.
The runner-up was the winner of last year’s inaugural award, Michael Spence, also 21, from Darlington.
Steven Liddle said: “It really is an honour to receive the Ron Maddison Award, which celebrates the work of someone who recognised the importance of teaching life skills alongside high standards of technical training.”
Ken Maddison said: “It’s great to see that apprentices remain such an important part of Cleveland Bridge. Dad would have been very proud.”
Chris Droogan, Managing Director of Cleveland Bridge, said: “Ron joined Cleveland Bridge at the age of 14 and during his career worked on many iconic projects, including the Auckland Harbour, Forth, Bosphorus and Humber bridges.
“However, perhaps his greatest achievement was in helping found our apprenticeship programme and in passing on his undoubted expertise and technical knowledge.
“I’m delighted this award remembers Ron’s significant contribution and his legacy continues to be felt to this day in our apprenticeship programme.”
Steven Liddle (centre) is pictured receiving the award from (left to right): Chris Droogan, Carol Lax, Ken Maddison and Carol’s husband, Ian Lax.