First Round of Essay Awards to Apprentices by ITS United Kingdom

April 12 2017

ITS (UK), the Intelligent Transport Systems society for the UK, has expanded its Student Essay competition with a new category for apprentices.  The first two apprentice winners have received their Awards from ITS (UK) President and former Transport Minister, Steve Norris.

Steven Beager of Transport for London (TfL) wrote on the detection of over height vehicles, and Josh Hickin of Arup tackled scenarios for introducing autonomous vehicles into the fleet using platooning.  Both essays displayed a practical and well informed approach to using technology in real life settings and with a focus on benefits to the travelling public and to road operators.

ITS (UK) puts a strong emphasis on encouraging and supporting young entrants to the ITS sector, and this competition for apprentices is one strand of these activities.

Jennie Martin of ITS (UK) said “I believe that the apprentice route into working in intelligent transport systems will become increasingly common and several of our corporate Members are running tailored ITS apprenticeship schemes.  The coincidence of high costs of university degree courses and the skills shortage across the STEM sector makes supporting apprenticeships a logical priority for us as the ITS sector’s industry association.”

Steven Beager, an apprentice on the TfL traffic infrastructure scheme, said “As a TfL apprentice, I have the chance to work in various teams within the traffic infrastructure sector making me part of the of the way London’s roads and streets are modernised using world leading technology.  Going forward, more focus on Intelligent Transport Systems is needed to keep our cities moving, working and growing.”

Dana Skelley OBE, Director of Asset Management and the Chair of the Graduate and Apprenticeship Board at TfL, said “Congratulations to both of the apprentices for their winning entries. The essay subjects illustrate the wide and varied range of work the transport sector offers. Their success demonstrates that apprenticeships can offer really exciting opportunities at many levels and helps challenge the perception that apprenticeships are only applicable to bus or train driver type careers.”

Josh Hickin added ““I am proud and honoured to have received the Runner-Up award and would like to congratulate Steven on winning the 2016 Apprentice Essay Awards. Without such initiatives I would not be able to experience the wonderful opportunities available in this interesting and rewarding profession. I would also like to thank ITS (UK) for demonstrating commitment towards young ITS professionals and for this exciting opportunity””

Khalid Nur of Arup commented “Arup is committed to providing apprenticeship opportunities and supporting our apprentices in their career development. It is great to see the level of support that ITS (UK) provides to young ITS professionals recognising the role played by apprentices through this competition among other activities. Congratulations to Josh and Steven on winning this essay competition. I wish them all the best in their career in this exciting, dynamic and rewarding profession.”

Both essays were published in the 2017 – 18 ITS United Kingdom Review, available at Traffex 2017 and on request from ITS (UK) and online at

The next edition of the essay competition is now open until 30 November 2017 – contact for details.

Photo shows l-r Steven Beager, Steve Norris and Josh Hickin