Jonathan Ward

Jonathan is a Higher Engineering Apprentice, and 2019's Apprentice of the Year.

Jonathan Ward, apprentice Jonathan Ward, apprentice

What does being an apprentice at the Trust, and wellbeing mean to you?

Now that I'm an apprentice at the Trust, I understand the role that the Trust has in improving wellbeing for all, and I know now how I can play a part.

Everyone's role within the Trust includes that of promoting wellbeing, and is part of my role and responsibility. This comes through when I ensure that everything I do to keep things in good condition, they can be used effectively and will improve the wellbeing of the public. This is a valuable contribution and one I'm really proud of.

What would you tell other young people considering an apprenticeship?

The apprenticeship has contributed to my personal development by fully engaging me in the world of engineering and introducing me to the values by which the Trust operates.

I have learned key skills whilst at work and at college which will ensure that I have the correct tools for my career to progress once my apprenticeship has been completed.

The work that I have completed throughout my apprenticeship has also been a large benefit to my college work, as it has given me practical experience that I can relate to when completing my assignments. 

It has also contributed to my own wellbeing, giving me the opportunity to work alongside a group of exceptionally hard-working and ambitious people, who act as extremely good role models and mentors to ensure that my career begins in a positive manner. They have also been very supportive and always have my best interests in mind, making my experience of being an apprentice an enjoyable one.


In 2019 I was very surprised to be awards the Apprentice of the Year. I feel I won because of my constant drive to improve and challenge myself.

Jonathan Ward

What have you got involved with during your apprenticeship?

I think that I have made a positive and lasting impression towards the various people that I have worked alongside and have developed a number of strong working relationships with the colleagues in my immediate team.

I began the year making the move from the Regional Asset Management Team to the Trust’s specialist Bridges Team. This meant that I was immediately faced with the challenge of fitting into a new team dynamic, along with learning about a new unique and specialist area of engineering.

I quickly settled into my new role and showed my willingness to listen and learn from experts in order to develop my own skills. I also began applying the knowledge I had gained from my college course and my time working in asset management to solve problems, displaying my capabilities to my team members. I believe that the successful move between teams highlights my versatility, showing that I can adapt well when faced with new and unfamiliar objectives.

An opportunity that presented itself to me through the Trust was volunteering as a mentor for young up-and-coming engineers, who were taking part in a STEM activity. The activity enabled a group of students aged 13-14 to select an engineering-based project which met their interest. They would then conduct research in order to make practical engineering decisions, which would help them develop a model that would be presented in front of a panel of judges.

My role was to offer guidance and advice from a professional’s perspective, providing support to ensure that their project was on target. Working with the students and their teachers showed that I am capable of communicating effectively with people of a range of different ages and backgrounds. The enthusiasm and eagerness shown by the students towards learning was a great example of how I have contributed to the wellbeing of others, along with my own, as it was a great experience leading the project and working together with others.

In 2019 I was very surprised to be awards the Apprentice of the Year – I won because of my constant drive to improve and challenge myself, along with my excellent attitude whilst representing the Canal & River Trust and its values.

I have also offered to volunteer at the Crick Boat Show, which is held at the end of May. Last year there were over 27,000 visitors in attendance over the course of the weekend, meaning that this was a great opportunity to spread the word about apprenticeships and connect with members of the public, raising positive awareness of the Trust. 

Last date edited: 28 July 2020