Top student recognised for efforts on EDI

Alisa Ahmad

A top student has been recognised for her efforts encouraging people into the built environment sector, her enthusiasm and approach to civil engineering and her passion for equality, diversity and inclusion.

Alisa Ahmad was amongst the incredible winners from across construction specialisms at the Leeds College of Building.

Students were selected for their academic achievements, going the “extra mile,” overcoming adversity, and excelling in studies or national competitions.

Alisa, who is employed by BAM Nuttall, was named the winner of the CIHT (Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation) Apprentice of the Year Award.

The Level 6 Civil Engineering Site Management Degree Apprentice gained recognition in 2022, after being highly commended at the Asian Achievers Awards and winning a national CIHT trophy. 

Alisa said: “It is great to be appreciated as an apprentice; a career route which doesn't get enough recognition.  

"I hope as an apprentice, a person of colour, and a woman that I have inspired others. 

"[The CIHT Apprentice of the Year award] boosted my confidence as an engineer, and I know it will be something I can use in any workplace to showcase my skills.” 

Leeds College of Building CEO & Principal Nikki Davis welcomed guests to the drinks reception and dinner at Leeds United FC Centenary Pavilion, Elland Road. 

In total, the successes of 46 students and apprentices over the 2022/2023 academic year was recognised, with awards host and TV and radio broadcaster Rich Williams announcing the winners. 

The top accolade of the night went to Sleaford Building Services (SBS) apprentice Harry Cox, who won the Governors’ Award sponsored by Marlborough Brickwork Ltd. 

Harry was also named Sustainable Building Services – Heating & Ventilation/RAC Apprentice of the Year earlier in the evening.

Leeds College of Building Heating & Ventilation Lecturer, Danny Godward, nominated Harry for exceptional dedication to his studies despite End Point Assessment (EPA) challenges.

He said: “Over the two years that Harry has been in College, he quietly got on with completing tasks, exams, and producing good work in the workshop.

"However, since being in third year, he has gone that step further and should be recognised for the hard work he has undertaken on his apprenticeship.

"He worked consistently to a high standard - I think this award is well deserved by Harry due to his continued commitment. He is a credit to Sleaford Building Services, the College, and himself.”

In total, 14 organisations supported the evening, including headline sponsor Marlborough Brickwork Ltd.

Awards included Roof Slating & Tiling Apprentice of the Year, Plumbing Study Programme Student of the Year, Institution of Civil Engineers - Quest Technician Scholarship, and Level 3 Apprentice of the Year. 

Nikki Davis, CEO & Principal of Leeds College of Building, congratulated all students receiving awards.

"It’s wonderful to celebrate these incredible achievements, often under challenging circumstances," she said.

"Their resilience is commendable, and I wish them every success going forward.

"Thanks also to our amazing staff who go above and beyond in supporting all our learners daily.

“I would also like to thank our awards sponsors and emphasise how grateful we are for this unwavering support."

She added these "excellent links" with the construction and built environment industry are "vital for our students who benefit from bespoke training materials, specialist tools, and critical hands-on work experience opportunities provided by our partner employers”.

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