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First Ex-Forces Veterans Pass Free Rail Training Initiative

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James Kenealey morson vital training

Morson Vital Training are proud to celebrate the hard work and dedication of ex-forces veterans Alex Kemp and Carl Ruffley as they achieved faultless marks in passing their safety critical training.

Carl and Alex are the first candidates to successfully complete Morson Group’s latest initiative to tackle the widening skills gap within the rail industry head on. The initiative sees MVT, the UK’s fastest growing and highly regarded training provider to the rail infrastructure, offering training spaces free of charge to veterans to ensure that all courses offered are full to capacity.

The programme to offer fully-funded training will allow ex-forces veterans to take their first steps into the industry and encourages them to bring their valuable resettlement attributes into an industry that is in need of high quality personnel.

The programme was designed in support of armed forces ambassador Andy Reid, off the back of his work across many divisions of the Morson Group in assisting ex-forces personnel, who have given so much in service of the country, into civilian careers. The initiative was launched in the briefing at MVT’s office in Salford last month for interested persons.

Alex was the first ex-forces member to take up the opportunity for free training. Formerly part of Andy Reid’s battalion around the time he got injured in Afghanistan, Alex’s life took a turn and upon finding himself homeless, he asked Andy for help getting accommodation through his association with Step Forward homes. He joined a PTS programme to give him the basic qualifications he needs to start his career on the railway.

Trainer Gary Benco, an ex-forces veteran himself, sees the skills that veterans have to offer as being highly attractive to potential employers. “Personally, I’d like to see more army gangs out there on the tracks. We have a couple of ex-forces groups in Stoke making good money as a very sought-after gang. The industry needs good people and I believe people with a military background will get noticed.”

Morson Group is one of the biggest suppliers to Network Rail and supplies up to 400 staff per week in the North West region. Upon completing the Morson Vital Training PTS training course, contractors are automatically enrolled with Vital.

Matthew Leavis, head of training for MVT and co-designer of the programme, said “To see Carl and Alex complete their training and make their way in to gainful and sustained employment with Vital Human Resources gives us all a great sense of achievement and pride.”

“Morson Group’s commitment to social mobility is founded on the will to ‘sprinkle a little back’, as our late founder Gerry Mason would say. I personally wish them all the luck in their future career and look forward to working with them in the future as they progress, with the ongoing training of MVT working hand in hand with Vital.” 

After the success of the pilot scheme it is intended to run more of these programmes of fully funded training with an additional drive to help tackle gender diversity within engineering.