Matthew Leavis has worked for Morson since 2013, overseeing the founding of our rail training arm, Morson Vital Training. With over a decade of experience working for Network Rail, he brings a wealth of career industry experience to the role.
The number of major railway projects underway and in the pipeline, combined with the Government’s National Infrastructure Delivery Plan committing a further £100billion investment by 2021, makes 2017 an exciting time to kick start a career in rail.
Britain’s railway is undergoing major transformations, with Crossrail entering its final stages of construction, HS2, the largest infrastructure project in Europe, expected to start on site this year and Network Rail in the midst of a five-year, £38billion investment programme known as Control Period 5 to upgrade and improve the network.
The rail sector and its supply chain contributes more than £10billion a year to the UK economy and employs around 216,000 people – a figure that’s set to increase drastically over the coming years as demand rises. The high speed rail project alone is expected to employ 27,000 people by the end of the decade, supporting between 5,000 and 9,000 Apprenticeships.
Whilst rail can often seem a daunting industry to break into, an Apprenticeship can be the perfect way to get your foot in the door and provide a springboard to a successful career. The benefits of being an apprentice are well documented, from earning a real wage while you gain relevant skills, hands-on experience and a nationally-recognised qualification that employers want.
As a recruitment business, we understand that people are a company’s greatest asset and are investing in the industry’s future talent pool with a dedicated rail academy to provide apprentices with skills and knowledge that align with industry needs – and help close an ever-growing skills gap.
Morson Vital Training (MVT), our industry-leading in-house training division that was set up to meet client and industry skill needs, has also developed an innovative programme to help ex-service personnel into work, while enabling the rail sector to benefit from their transferable skills.
By working closely with the Regular Forces Employment Agency (RFEA) and Walking With The Wounded to design the programme and recruit suitable candidates, the new course is fully-accredited and forms an important part of our future skilling and diversity strategies, with the armed services training expected to increase the number of female apprentices we recruit.
MVT has also developed a ground-breaking training programme to be delivered in prisons with day release experience on track for ex-offenders that are committed to realising their rehabilitation goals in the workplace.
The ‘Phoenix Programme’ closes the loop between training in prison and long-term employment by providing an end-to-end solution aligned to skill requirements in the rail sector. Candidates receive training in safety critical programmes and are supported by rehabilitation services as they make the transition from training into work.
Our training arm was also recently awarded platinum during an audit by the National Skills Academy for Rail, which, as the only rail trainer in the UK to have received the accolade, saw MVT named the number one rail training provider in the country.
With the rail industry continuing to push the boundaries and innovate, whilst offering an incredibly rewarding career, it makes prospects within the industry more exciting than they’ve been for generations.
To find out more about the opportunities available, visit our rail jobs board.