The signalling recruitment team at advance-TRS has proposed a new mentorship programme.
Managers at advance-TRS hope the Signalling Mentorship Programme will see between 60 and 100 Testing Engineers achieve fully qualified IRSE Licence tester status within 12 months.
Says Daniel Forth-Rumley, Recruitment Consultant at advance-TRS, ‘It struck me that a vast amount of engineers have completed the testing courses, but still struggle to get the required mentorship opportunity to step up their testing grades.’
Daniel went on, ‘When approached, the majority of engineers jumped at the opportunity to join a programme offering consistent mentorship and employment, in return for the commitment to work critical bank holiday periods.’
Whilst signalling is just one of the key areas of concern, Network Rail’s openness to invest and support possible solutions is welcome news. It is however essential that this message runs deeper than the senior management.
It remains a continual frustration for many of the principal contractors around the country that supply chain Testers in Charge (TIC) and Test & Commissioning Managers are reluctant to approve signal test plans that contain IRSE Licensed test engineers who are listed as working under mentorship. It is a vicious circle and without the empowerment to use these aspiring trainee testers to gain the essential mentorship required, the problem will only magnify.
Alongside the High Speed Two project, Great Western electrification and Crossrail, Europe’s biggest construction project, there will be major work taking place to implement new signalling technology as the industry progresses an ambitious programme to replace most of the current line side signals with in- cab technology.
Signalling is a critical discipline within the rail industry and with an ageing work force signalling delivery has a daunting challenge ahead. For example the Christmas commissioning period often shows up the critical shortfall of signal test engineers. With eight weeks to go rail chiefs remain concerned.
Andy Ridout, managing director of advance-TRS feels it is imperative to fill this skills shortage. Network Rail and its principal contractors are to be commended and encouraged as they work towards increased graduate and skilled recruitment programmes as well as investing in training, conversion programmes and mentorship schemes.
To hear more about the testing mentorship programme or simply to share your view on the issue faced within the rail recruitment sector, email advance-TRS at [email protected] or contact Andy Ridout on 01483 361061.