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Seven miners, made redundant when Kellingley Colliery in Beal, North Yorkshire, closed down last December, are fighting their collective misfortune by training for a new career in the telecoms industry.

Sheffield-based Network Training and Resource Solutions (ntrs), the training and resourcing partner of globally operational Linbrooke Services, caught wind of the mass redundancy and decided to tackle the issue head-on.

Tony Gaunt, ntrs’ head of training, approached the former miners with the offer to help transfer their skills and guide them back into work by becoming masters of a new trade. Meeting with the miners, Tony discussed the training opportunities ntrs could provide and the potential opportunity of being deployed across the rail and or subsea transmission sectors following the training.

‘Many miners have proactive, hands-on experience of operating plant and machinery in a safety critical environment, very similar to the type of work we do in the rail industry,’ says Ebony Soltani, marketing director for both Linbrooke and ntrs. ‘So, yeah, we jumped at the opportunity to connect with these men.’

All seven are currently training at ntrs’ reputable National Training Academy in Ecclesfield, Sheffield. The training includes the theory and practical aspects of telecoms and a thorough familiarisation with the railway, including track safety.


No stranger to transferable skills techniques, Lee Hallam, chief executive and founder of ntrs, believes in employing second careerists – individuals who have already served several years in either Her Majesty’s Forces or a comparable profession.

Having established a synergy with current UK markets affected by redundancies, ntrs also works alongside the Royal Marines Charity and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to deliver resettlement programmes for ex-service personnel, ultimately providing them with new careers throughout the rail and utilities sectors.

‘We find people who have already proven their dedication, commitment and loyalty within the military and who recognise the need for team work. They identify with the sense of camaraderie out on track straightaway,’ says Lee Hallam. ‘Night shifts and odd hours don’t faze them and they regard the job as a mission, consistently going the extra mile to deliver safely and efficiently.’

Lee himself served nearly 10 years with the Royal Marines and has also worked as a police officer. He retrained as a telecoms engineer before later specialising in the installation of subsea cable systems in the Pacific Ocean.


Ntrs’ National Training Academy is an accredited City & Guilds training facility, preferred training provider for the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) and an EAL (Excellence in Achievement & Learning) approved assessment centre.

With an established track record of not only providing military resettlement programmes and CV support, ntrs also offer a wide range of courses for both businesses upskilling their workforce and individuals looking to further their careers.

As the ex-miners go through the syllabus, they will be meeting four recent Royal Marines who are also training via ntrs within power and telecoms. Whether by sea or by land, ntrs is continually pushing ahead with more retraining programmes to strengthen and benefit the rail industry.