From rail administration assistant to national group training manager

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by Rebekah Valero-Lee on

In the final instalment of our National Apprenticeship Week profiles, we speak to national group training manager, Matt Leavis, who works for Morson Group’s special training division, Morson Vital Training. Matt manages the rail apprentice training in Salford, Greater Manchester, and has more than 14 years’ experience in the UK rail industry.

Words: Jennifer Morris

When Matt took a weekend job as an administration assistant in the rail industry, he was 17 years old. By the time he was 18, he had attained his PTS card, and was out on the tracks at weekends supporting the engineers on the night shift.

Matt’s professional journey is underpinned by determination, hard work and opportunity. Finding he liked the hands-on work of the rail industry, he soon excelled from track labourer, being given more responsibility before taking on a role with Network Rail as a welding assistant.

“By the age of 21 I was a fully qualified welder, and one of the youngest with network Rail at the time,” he says, “I loved everything about welding, and was always hungry for the next qualification – once I had honed my skills doing one thing, I was eager to evolve and learn a different skill set.

“I found myself asking for more training and qualifications, which ultimately helped me progress in my career.”

Then, a couple of years later, Matt was asked if he had ever considered becoming a trainer. He says: “I had never considered this before – I thought being a trainer was for an older generation, when you couldn’t work on the track any more. Not long after I was diagnosed with a condition that meant physical labour wasn’t possible any more.

“That’s when I revisited the training aspect – I could use the skills I had acquired in the rail industry and apply them to a new career.”

Matt now heads up Morson Vital Training (MVT), which offers training and apprenticeships to all levels of seniority in the rail industry. He is also about to start his very first apprenticeship himself. “I hope to complete my ILM qualification in September, and then straight after that I would like to start my degree and then a Masters. All the learning I do for myself is all undertaken out of working hours. It’s a big challenge but I can see the benefits already.”

Matt says he can relate to the apprentices who walk through MVT’s doors. “I was never academic at school – I was always good with my hands though. Finding a career I was interested in meant that I was eager to learn more despite not being very academic. We measure our apprentices on their ability in the industry for the role they are going into. It is important that they complete the academic side of things as part of their training because it gives them a deeper understanding of why and how things work.”

Matt continues: “I believe that an apprenticeship can turn someone’s life around. We have introduced a six week skills based academy – it’s a challenge to deliver, but the apprenticeship may just have sent them off on a path to a brighter future – if it makes a difference then we’ve done something really good.

“The opportunities are there for the people that are willing to look for them. If you work hard then you will be supported and you will progress. You’ll reach your potential – and engineering is a great industry for that.”


Cx Jobs

Project Manager

Are you an experienced Project Manager? Do you want to work for a company that is demonstrating sustained periods of growth, as well as having a solid order book of more work to come? Do you want to work for a company that offers autonomy, along with the freedom to develop in your career? Then Vital want to speak to you.Vital resources are currently working with a reputable and well established Civils and Groundworks contractor to assist them in their search for a new Project Manager. Our client is looking for someone who can demonstrate a background in Civils and Infrastructure projectsAs an experienced Manager your responsibilities will include but are not limited to:Daily management of various civil projects within the portfolio of workLeading successful contract delivery, ensuring the site team are fully appraised of the contract parametersInvolvement of projects at all stages from Pre-Qualifying and tendering through to completionEnsuring contracts are executed in accordance with client requirementThe successful applicant for this role will be able to demonstrate:Background in a similar positionPrevious experience working within groundworks, deep drainage and, cut & fill works.Degree educated (or similar)Full UK Licence as travel to sites will be requiredAbility to work alone with minimal supervisionFor this our client is willing to offer a competitive salary along with a comprehensive package.If you would like more information, please apply or contact Jamie Nicholson using the below details

Project Manager

Morson have an exciting vacancy for a Project Manager based in Yeovil for one of our Aerospace Clients. Job DescriptionThe Project Manager is responsible for the successful delivery of the defined Project with authority and responsibility from the Programme Manager to run the project on a day-to-day basis.Key Job Accountabilities Include:The project manager is responsible for leading and managing the project team with responsibility and authority from the Programme Manager or Sponsor on a day-to-day basis. Delivering the project to schedule, cost and quality.Interfacing between the project and functional business areas to achieve the overall Project deliverables. Demonstrate good communication and encouragement across functional business areas, for change.Effective co-ordination of the project and the inter dependencies into the overall Programme or as an independent small project, including resolution or mitigation of any risks and issues arising during the project. Supported by the Programme Management office.Ensuring all activities are carried out in accordance with policies, and processes.Ensuring delivery of contract life cycle relevant to accountable project.Managing and production of the required deliverables proactively monitoring its progress, resolving issues and initiating appropriate corrective action to achieve quality and schedule within budget.Planning, designing and monitoring the project, preparing any project plans as required. Please contact us for more information.

Visual Modeller

Our Client is developing a virtual aircraft maintenance trainer at its Dalgety Bay facility in Fife. The software solution exploits an existing in-house product capability called VoRTEX (Virtual Reality Training Executive). The VoRTEX core software provides the virtual environment, state store and rule set that govern how the user interacts with the platform virtual model. To run with the VoRTEX core, the project is creating the specific behaviour and 3D visual models for the relevant aircraft systems.The role will primarily focus on creating real-time textured 3D objects to be incorporated into a highly detailed aircraft with opening panels and removable parts. The source data will usually comprise very high polygon count CAD files that need to be optimised then textured. This will mostly be done manually because automated tools usually create unacceptable artefacts. Some objects will be created from photographs and measurements only. Applicants with full-time experience creating 3D assets for games or military simulators will have an advantage. The applicant should provide a portfolio or examples of work. Skills (essential):3D Modelling and texturing/shading of real time assets based on real world reference materials;Ensuring that all models produced are optimised for performance, taking into consideration the limitations of the target system;Ability to work in a team setting, working to deadlines and time constraints. Skills (desirable):Understanding of baking textures, generating specular / normal maps and physically based shading;Pro-actively contributes to improvement of production pipeline;General knowledge of rigging, lighting, animation and rendering techniques;Can develop MEL / Maxscript tools;Traditional art drawing skills;Knowledge and experience of using JIRA for task management. Tools (essential):3D Modelling - Autodesk Maya preferred, also 3DS Max (pure CAD software experience is unsuitable);Texturing - Adobe Photoshop CC expertise. Tools (desirable):Texturing - 3D painting software experience is useful;Game Engine - Unity 3D preferred, also Unreal Engine.

Site Manager

Are you an experienced Site Manager? Do you want to work for a company that is demonstrating sustained periods of growth, as well as having a solid order book of more work to come? Do you want to work for a company that offers autonomy, along with the freedom to develop in your career? Then Vital want to speak to you.Vital resources are currently working with a reputable and well established multi-disciplined contractor to assist them in their search for a new Site Manager. Our client is looking for someone who can demonstrate a background in Rail, Water, Civils, or Infrastructure projectsAs an experienced Manager your responsibilities will include but are not limited to:Daily management of groundworks packages in the central Belt of ScotlandOrganise and Purchase on Site Labour, Materials, and PlantLiaise with the commercial teams and other operational teams to ensure projects are delivered in a timely, and cost effective manner.Organise and Chair meetings with clients and senior management.The successful applicant for this role will be able to demonstrate:Background in a similar positionPrevious experience working within groundworks, deep drainage and, cut & fill works.Experience working as a subcontractor is preferred, but not essentialSMSTS CertifiedFull UK Licence as travel to sites will be requiredAbility to work alone with minimal supervisionFor this our client is willing to offer a competitve salary, along with a comprehensive package.For more information, please contact Jamie Nicholson using the details provided, or click the apply now link.

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