Bob Bryce of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) was named Apprentice of the Year at the 2022 Rail Staff Awards.
Bob became an inspiration for others across the world after completing an NVQ level 3 apprenticeship course at the age of 76.
The course he undertook involved producing project work, task analysis, and initially Mathematics and English tests, all of which he passed despite leaving school over 60 years ago.
As Bob came near to completing his course it became apparent that he was the country’s oldest apprentice, and he was interviewed by 19 different news organisations including Sky, BBC World Service and Channel 4.
The course also helped Bob hone his leadership skills and helped him analyse how to deal with different situations and attune his way of working at GTR.
In 2022, GTR, which sponsored the award, was named by the Department of Transport as one of the country’s top apprenticeship employers, and Bob was quick to sing the company’s praises.
“I’m just overwhelmed by this,” said Bob. “My father always told me if you work for a good employer, always give 110%, and I just followed his advice. If you tell yourself, you can’t do something then you’ll fail, but if you believe in yourself, you’ll succeed. I’ve gone and done it, even at my age, and it feels incredible!”
Steve Lammin, presenter of the Award and GTR’s Engineering Director, returned the appreciation. “As a former apprentice once myself, it was a great honour to present the award for Apprentice of the Year at the Rail Staff Awards,” he said.
“GTR strives to continually develop exciting talent and diversity into and through our business, providing multiple points of entry into our industry. The apprentice scheme is a really important part of this. Bob is a fantastic demonstration, and hopefully an inspiration to many in how it is never too late to continue to develop new skills, knowledge, and opportunities throughout your career, the railway and within GTR.”
Chloe Farrell, Merseyrail
2nd Runner-up: Marnie McKay, Atkins