The engagement of contingent workers creates a flexible workforce that can be easily scaled to meet resource peaks. Morson USA prides itself on being able to meet client demands with tailored contingent recruitment solutions. Whether requirements center around specialist, niche skills or high volume recruitment, Morson is able to supply skills to where they are needed most.
Operating from a global market of offices and across a range of industry sectors, Morson has the experience and capability to proactively meet your resourcing needs.
Key benefits of contract recruitment include:
Morson USA continuously engages with an active contractor population, building and evolving our candidate database to ensure we have access to the best talent on the market. Using a range of attraction methods, we can target specific skills and/or geographies, depending on the needs of the contract.
Morson’s expertise in the temporary and contract recruitment market is unparalleled and we can offer a range of models to support our clients’ temporary or contract labour requirements.
CAREER ADVICE | 3 MIN READ Find out how to fall back in love with your job Read our top tips for getting the most out of your career Valentines Day is a day for love, romance, chocolates, flowers and personalised biscuits decorated with hearts. But what if you fall out of love with your job? We spend on average, 7.5 hours a day at work so we’ve put together our top tips on how to rekindle that spark and help you remember why you love your job! 1. TRYING SOMETHING NEW When you start a new job there’s so much to take in for the first few months you are constantly learning. But once you’re fully settled and you’ve mastered your current workload, you can find yourself feeling bored, under stimulated and unchallenged on a daily basis. In any role, there are some tedious, repetitive tasks that just have to get done. But you can leverage your job as an opportunity to expand your professional or personal skills. Ask for training on a new piece of software you would like to learn, attend industry events to gain inspiration or investigate how you could dabble with new responsibilities without entirely jumping ship from your current role. 2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL THE BENEFITS With more competition in the industry, we are hearing the term “candidate driven market” more than ever. In simple terms, it means that you are in the driving seat and are able to demand and negotiate on more than just your salary. A new trend that has surfaced in the recruitment industry is offering a candidate package. Along with the salaried job offer which includes the standard holiday entitlement, pay and maybe a company car, companies are looking at what else they can offer to attract and retain the best talent. Things like study support, development plans, flexible working and earn while you learn schemes are all benefits that you can take advantage of if your employer offers these schemes. 3. TAKE REGULAR HOLIDAYS AND BREAKS Often you find yourself stressed and hating your job when you’re burned out. An easy way to avoid work-related stress and fatigue is by taking regular holidays and breaks. By holidays we mean a total office shut off, no emails, no phone calls and most importantly, no worrying! 4. ORGANISE A SOCIAL OUTING WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES This is especially important in this day and age, where it’s easy to avoid face-to-face contact. Instead of emailing your colleagues physically, go and talk to them in the office. Go and have lunch in the breakout area where you can talk to people. You spend most of your time with them, so you might as well try to enjoy their company. But when it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit, so If you’re ready to try something new, search our latest jobs here.Find out more
SAFETY MATTERS | 3 MIN READ Since its official launch in March 2018, we have received c.200 close calls The app is available on both Android and Apple devices and can be downloaded by searching ‘Morson’ in the App Store or Google Play Download our latest issue of Safety Matters to read more about everything from health and safety innovation and project wins to top tips and case studies In our last edition, we announced the launch of our new Safety Matters Close Call App, which is transforming the way we maintain safety trackside by giving our entire workforce another simple way to report unsafe behaviours and working conditions. The app is available on both Android and Apple devices and can be downloaded by searching ‘Morson’ in the App Store or Google Play. As well as the ability to report close calls anonymously, it also offers the added functionality of using the app whilst offline and submitting the details once your internet connection is restored, so it can be used in any location. The information that we receive is crucial to reducing and eliminating accidents and incidents. Since its official launch in March 2018, we have received c.200 close calls. The number reported each month continues increasing, with 14 recorded in April compared to 51 in September. During Period 7, the greatest number of close calls centred on the following safety issues and concerns: Lack of equipment or equipment that is broken or not working Delivery that is either late or failed to complete altogether Trip or trip hazard Poor or inadequate lighting on site Issues concerning members of the public Platform protection either not in use or inadequate Other close calls reported during this same period included disagreements/arguments, dust/fumes on site, faulty or lack of head torches, instructions/RAMS not listened to or followed, operatives not being clean shaven, and rubbish left on site. If ever in an unsafe situation, you should immediately report your concerns through the app, which is flagged instantly to our health and safety team. We also want to remind everyone of their shared accountability for each other’s actions, with health and safety not only the responsibility of the PWTs and inspectors. This collective responsibility and the encouragement to speak out and rectify problems before they become an issue, rather than ignoring it or viewing it as ‘someone else’s responsibility’, ensures that we work safe and go home safe every day. Here is a selection of close calls reported through the app during October 2018 and the subsequent actions that were taken: Download our latest issue of Safety Matters to read more about everything from health and safety innovation and project wins to top tips and case studies. Or, to search for our latest jobs, click here.Find out more
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP | 2 MIN READ A new era of business culture has introduced new ways of working with more flexibility, better benefits and a focus on employee satisfaction more than ever before Find out how embracing the digital culture can help your business improve and grow In this competitive age, companies are having to work harder to attract the highest calibre of candidates. Culture in a business is an important factor when candidates are deciding whether your company is right for them. A new era of business culture has introduced new ways of working with more flexibility, better benefits and a focus on employee satisfaction more than ever before. But when a company has an ingrained culture, how does it then diversify and change the way they have worked for 10, 20, even 30 years to attract new talent? Embracing the Digital Culture The extent of technology in business has accelerated during the last two decades and is now a major factor in defining business growth. In the past it was perceived to be rude to have lengthy mobile phone calls during work hours, now mobile phones play a vital role in the running of any business. Technology touches every business from recruitment to healthcare, we simply could not be without it and so the benefits of digital culture no longer need to be justified. There is no question that adopting technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud data and embracing remote working tools can help a business improve and grow. But embracing other cultural trends such as flexible working now is dependent on the introduction of technology. Taking flexible working as an example, employees require a suitable laptop or desktop based at home, they require a good internet connection and access to their files and folders which are (usually) held within the businesses networks. “Providing all of your employees with Apple Macbook’s and a Superfast Broadband connection is not going to completely transform your business and provide an instant solution to high productivity and engagement. But, it’s a good building block to be able to provide other services that will ensure a happier workforce.” All of this requires investment into both software, hardware and also manpower to be able to implement and manage these systems. However, it’s important to note that providing all of your employees with a laptop and a Superfast Broadband connection is not going to completely transform your business and provide an instant solution to high productivity and engagement. But, it’s a good building block to be able to provide other services that will ensure a happier workforce. If you would like to find out more about how to engineer cultural change, download our free guide which explores what cultural change is, why it is so important for your business and how to engineer a cultural change as part of a successful growth strategy.Find out more
Alison Charles has worked for engineering design consultancy Morson Projects for many years. The daughter of a French teacher and an art teacher, stress engineer Alison Charles is breaking the family mould with her career at Morson. She’s also proving that you don’t have to work in a traditionally ‘creative’ sector to have a job that involves creative thinking. “I never enjoyed subjects that involved essay writing at school. I always preferred things like maths where the answers were black or white. As a result I studied maths and physics at ‘A’ Level and went to the University of Leeds to do a Mechanical Engineering degree. My friends and family were quite surprised about my choice of degree because I think there’s still a perception that engineering involves getting your hands dirty onsite. In fact, I work in a comfortable office and one of the things I love about my job is that it combines my maths skills with design requirements and a creative approach to finding engineering solutions.” After starting her career with Morson on the aviation engineering team, Alison moved onto an Energy from Waste (EfW) project in Derby as a stress engineer. She is currently working on the decommissioning of Dounreay Nuclear Power Station, calculating the effects of different forces and loads on pipe work to assess how the pipes will respond in a real world installation, specifically considering dynamic effects due to a seismic event. “I’ve been with Morson for six years now and in that time I have worked on three different aircraft and two different pipe stress projects. With lots of nuclear projects on the horizon, there’s plenty of scope for career development as a pipe stress engineer and I’m really enjoying the problem solving, analysis and creative thinking required for the job.” Indeed, Alison enjoys her job in engineering so much that she is keen to encourage other young people to pursue similar career paths, particularly girls. “When I was at university, male students massively outnumbered female students on my course. There were just four female students out of a total of 100! There was a feeling that we had to prove ourselves and, though old-fashioned attitudes to women in engineering are changing gradually, there’s still a lot to be done to alter perceptions and break down stereotypes so that girls feel confident about aiming for a career in engineering and no-one’s surprised about the jobs female engineers do.” Alison is taking an active role in bringing about that culture change. She has been appointed as a STEM ambassador as part of a programme designed to encourage young people to enjoy STEM subjects, supporting teachers in the classroom by explaining current applications in industry or research. “Around 40 per cent of STEM ambassadors are women because so many women in STEM-based sectors are evangelical about the variety of careers available and the opportunities for young women. I recently attended an International Day of the Girl event at the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester in my capacity as a STEM Ambassador, explaining simple aviation engineering concepts to visitors. Young girls are really engaged and excited about opportunities in engineering and, hopefully, within the next few decades we’ll see much more gender parity in the sector.” Find our more about our work with diversity hereFind out more
INDUSTRY NEWS | 2 MIN READ Scottish space firm, Orbex revealed a prototype of the world’s largest 3D printed rocket engine Plans to develop the UK’s first spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland The first test flight is planned for 2021 Scottish space firm, Orbex revealed a prototype of the world’s largest 3D printed rocket engine at the opening of its new headquarters and rocket design facility in Forres in the Scottish Highlands. The company is involved in plans to develop the UK’s first spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland. The rocket is designed to deliver small satellites into Earth’s orbit and the Orbex Prime is a two-stage rocket that is claimed to be 30% lighter and 20% more efficient than any other vehicle in its category. It is also the first commercial rocket engine designed to work with bio-propane, a clean-burning, a renewable fuel source that cuts carbon emissions by 90% compared to fossil hydrocarbon fuels. The completed engineering prototype is made from lightweight carbon fibre and aluminium composite and includes the world’s largest 3D printed rocket engine. Click here to watch the video and find out more Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of Orbex said: “Orbex’s new rocket design facility brings Britain one step closer to having its own domestic commercial launch capability and firmly positions the UK as Europe’s frontrunner for those looking to Earth’s orbit and beyond for new opportunities. The new facility and future spaceport operations will help unlock vast economic and societal benefits not just in Scotland but right across the UK.” The first test flight is planned for 2021 where it will carry out an experimental flight from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. This launch will represent an important first for the UK commercial space industry, demonstrating the UK’s end-to-end launch capability with a UK rocket launching a UK satellite from a UK spaceport. Interested in reading more about rocket engineering? Click here to read about the Bloodhound project. Orbex CEO, Chris Larmour added: “Orbex has been on an incredible journey, largely behind-the-scenes…that is changing today, as we publicly reveal the company’s technical and commercial momentum. Not only do we have a full engineering prototype of the complete Stage 2 of the Prime rocket, but also a growing roster of customers hoping to be among the first to launch satellites from Scotland.” (Image credit: Orbex) Ready for a new challenge and opportunity? Search our latest jobs here. Or if you need a little help along the way, check out our top CV tips here.Find out more
Morson are marking the fourth week of our ’50 Weeks of Giving’ campaign with an additional donation of £3,888 to Manchester Settlement. Manchester Settlement helps, supports and empowers people in the local community to improve their lives, focusing on nurturing children and working with young people to enable them to positively contribute to their wider communities. In December 2018, Morson donated £15,000 to Manchester Settlement to help deliver more bed spaces as part of the Pledge150 campaign launched by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in partnership with LandAid. The charity have been looking to provide safe accommodation on Wilfred Street in Manchester for six young people who are at risk of homelessness. According to the Pledge15 campaign, over 80,000 young people in the UK will be homeless this year. The partnership aims to deliver 150 bed spaces to young people in need across the UK. As part of the Morson 50th anniversary local community charity activity for 2019, an additional donation of £3,888 has been made in order to pay for broadband internet packages for the homes for 18 months in total. Ged Mason, CEO of Morson Group, said “Charities that support young disadvantaged or homeless people, like Manchester Settlement, are vital, and it’s important that our industry does it all can to help support them. Stephen and I are delighted the funds raised from Pledge150 will go towards helping such a fantastic local cause to home more of our city’s young vulnerable people and giving them the support they need to live a healthy, happy life.” Manchester Settlement offer an individually tailored package of support which includes help with budgeting, form filling, claiming benefits, introduction to facilities and services, how to be a good neighbour and live independently and successfully in the community. Their experienced support staff also intensively support young people around budgeting, paying bills, accessing education, employment and training. Our '50 Weeks of Giving' programme has seen us provide an individual donation each week to help worthy causes in the region. Coupled with our core annual charity activity, we aim to raise and donate £500,000 in total as we celebrate our 50th year in business. Our core charity activity will see us work to raise money for the employee-chosen charities in 2019, Motor Neurone Disease Association and ABF The Soldier's Charity. In the last 10 years we've raised over £2million for worthy causes throughout the UK such as the Seashell Trust and Destination Florida. To find out more about our commitment to charity, click hereFind out more
Currently 15-0 at just 23 years old, Morson’s Nathan Gorman has quickly become one of the fastest rising heavyweight stars in the world. Last year was a breakout year for Gorman, who fought an impressive four times with three of them being broadcast on BT Sport under the legendary Frank Warren banner. The highlight of these fights was clearly his hard-fought win ozver seasoned veteran, Razvan Cojanu on the undercard of Josh Warrington vs Carl Frampton back in December, which turned out to be one of the most memorable events in the sport of last year. Cojanu presented a step up for Nathan in terms of the quality of opponent in front of him and in the number of rounds that he was scheduled to compete in, but the Hatton’s gym fighter showed both weren’t a problem for him with a 12-round decision win: “It was the first time I went 12 rounds, he was a credible opponent; he’s fought high class opposition and fought for World Titles. Previously before I fought him, he fought Joseph Parker and Luis Ortiz so the only losses he had were at world level. It was good to prove my fitness was alright with a twelve rounder” After finishing an incredibly active year on a high, Nathan had a well-deserved rest over the festive period, which will be key heading into his most important year in the sport yet: “It was nice to chill out with my family and have two or three weeks off. It was good to do nothing over Christmas, you’ve got to rest the body as well as the mind” The greatness of some athletes comes from their all-encompassing love for the sport they participate in, which they have no choice to switch off from, whilst this obsessive nature may be the downfall of others. For Nathan, he believes that turning his mind away from boxing during his downtime enables a refreshed version of himself each time he steps into the ring: “Whenever I finished anything fight related, I go back home and I switch off completely. I don’t watch anything to do with boxing, I just rest my mind and rest my body and when I come back in the gym it’s game on.” Alongside Nathan at the Hyde based gym is another talented youngster from his famous fighting family, cousin Tommy Fury. Tommy made his professional debut on the December 22nd card and is scheduled to compete on the same bill as his gym partner on the 23rd of February. Tommy enters the professional game with massive expectations due to the success of older brother, Tyson but Gorman was full of praise for the youngster: “He’s doing really well, he’s in the gym every day and listens to the coaches. The guy that he just fought had over 100 fights, they’re there to survive. Bearing in mind Tommy’s only had 12 amateur fights, he’s progressing really well” Speaking about his own fight Nathan informed us what he knows about his next bout so far: “It’s a defence of my WBC title, so it’s a 10 rounder. In terms of opponents, we’ve got a few names in mind but we’re just waiting now to pin them” Whenever an athlete reaches a certain level of success and popularity, there comes an element of inevitable unwarranted negativity from certain members of the online community and this was no surprise to Gorman: “You’re always going to get online trolls, it comes with the territory. It goes in one in ear and out the other, you’ve just got to take it in your stride because if you let it get to you it’ll ruin your day. I like to call them keyboard warriors, obviously we’re all entitled to our opinion but I just look over and delete the tweet. I just don’t even listen to it” He continued: “I knew it was going to happen, the more established you get the more hate you’ll get. They’re not all haters though, there are people that genuinely want to see you do way” With Nathan looking to continue the momentum he has built in the past year, he gave us an insight into the goals he’s looking to accomplish in the sport this year: “This year to keep to keep on winning is the main thing but I’d like to break into the top 5 in all the governing bodies as well and hopefully win some more titles” Nathan Gorman returns to ring on Saturday 23rd of February live on BT Sport and we wish him all the best here at Morson.Find out more
Once again, Morson are a Key Challenge sponsor for Women in Rail’s 2019 Big Rail Diversity Challenge. Women in Rail was created to improve gender balance, diversity and inclusion in the UK rail industry. Gary Smithson, Morson's Associate Director for Rail, discusses: As a Key Challenge sponsor for the last two years, I’ve seen at first-hand how initiatives like the Big Rail Diversity Challenge can help promote and strengthen greater awareness of diversity within the workplace, but also foster deeper collaboration within teams. As an organisation which operates in sectors hardest hit by imbalances, Morson are dedicated to improving diversity within the industries we work; in 2017 our CEO, Ged Mason OBE, pledged to double the number of female engineer contractors we have working for us by 2020, a figure which we’re well on the way to achieving. The Challenge aligns perfectly to our core values and gives us the opportunity to have fun and promote a message which goes beyond the main event. Throughout the year we do a lot to promote the initiative; for 2018 we created a Spotify soundtrack of motivational tracks for our employees and competitors, and we have more exciting things planned for later this year. Importantly, the Big Rail Diversity Challenge gets everyone involved, across all levels of the business. Diversity which goes beyond gender should be a topic on everyone’s agenda, and the Challenge positively focuses on and promotes true inclusivity. The ‘Morson Equals Opportunities’ campaign, which centres on using accessibility technology to revolutionise how we engage with candidates online, echoes this initiative. It is just another way we’re working to guarantee there are no barriers in place to hold talented people back. I have seen a shift in the recognition of diversity amongst organisations; for us, promoting role models and profiling powerful women in industry is a key factor in creating a more diverse workforce and inspiring future generations, which is where we will hopefully see a real change moving forwards. Initiatives like this help to shine a spotlight on the work being done by Women in Rail to improve diversity across the UK rail industry. 2018 saw over 500 people participate, and with a record number of teams expected to be on the starting line for 2019 following a staggering 75% growth over the first three years, it promises to be yet another stand out event in the rail calendar. You can follow all the action from the Big Rail Diversity Challenge via the website www.bigraildiversity.co.uk – or across the event’s social channels; Twitter @BRailDiversityC | Facebook @bigraildiversity | Instagram @bigraildiversitychallengeFind out more
Because everyone should have the opportunity to find their dream job… We are excited to announce that we are kick-starting our accessibility journey by adding Recite Me’s web accessibility software to our website to ensure our online recruitment process is accessible to everyone. As a global technical recruiter, we operate in sectors hardest hit by imbalances and we are dedicated to improving diversity within the industries we work. By educating our clients and providing an inclusive candidate journey, we are committed to improving the lives of our contractor base and our own employees. We work hard to attract talent from untapped pools, and by introducing ReciteMe to our website, we are ensuring that there are no barriers in place to hold talented people back. About ReciteMe Recite Me is an innovative cloud-based web accessibility tool that lets you customise how your website looks offering a suite of accessibility tools, including solutions for visitors with dyslexia, visual impairment and learning difficulties. “This software will enable 27% more of the UK population to access our online content than could previously.” When you click on the ‘Accessibility Tools’ button at the top of our website, the Recite Me toolbar opens with a range of language and accessibility options and settings. You can use the Recite Me toolbar’s unique range of functions to do things like: Change font sizes and colours Options to have text read aloud (including PDFs) Customise background colour Access a fully integrated dictionary and thesaurus Translate web content into more than 100 different languages If you would like to learn more about ReciteMe’s features, visit our dedicated accessibility page. Morson Equals Opportunities Morson is committed to providing a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process and because of that we have developed the ‘Morson Equals Opportunities’ campaign to power this initiative. This campaign is set to be one of our most important projects to date and is close to the heart of many of our colleagues. Adding Recite Me’s web accessibility software to our website is the cornerstone of the campaign, revolutionising the way we engage with clients, contractors and candidates online. This campaign utilises the latest technology to enhance the candidate journey. Our new Group website was the first step to this exciting project which ensures our website is as easy to use as possible through quick apply tools, saved preferences and tailored job alerts. We propelled ‘Morson Equals Opportunities’ further into the spotlight through an event we held with Liverpool’s most famous boxing family. Champion boxer Callum Smith and his brothers have worn the word ‘autism’ on their shorts throughout their careers in a bid to raise awareness of the condition that their sister lives with. Our public Q&A with the brothers raised £1000 for their sister’s specialist autism school and our coverage ensured that the message reached over 100k people on social media, raising awareness further. Great journeys are often made up of many small steps, and we aim to by the end of 2019 to continue our work and be a leader for accessible recruitment that is changing lives for people with disabilities. To find out more about our Morson Equals Opportunities campaign, click here. Or click the 'Accessibility tools' button on our homepage to search our latest jobs using ReciteMe.Find out more
INDUSTRY NEWS | 2 MIN READ Manchester overtakes Los Angeles and Chicago in the building boom 14,480 residential units are currently under construction, double that of two years ago Find your next opportunity by contacting Morson’s construction recruitment team New research from Deloitte states that Manchester is one of the fastest growing cities in Europe and even overtakes the construction project numbers for Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago. The annual crane survey revealed that Manchester has 14,480 residential units currently under construction, double that of two years ago. Not to mention 2,129 hotel rooms and 2,006,897 sq ft of office space being built. Just three large hotel completions in the city centre include easyHotel’s budget Bradley House (115 rooms), Motel One’s second opening on Cross Street (302 rooms) and StayCity in Gateway House (182 rooms). Partner and Regional Head at Deloitte Real Estate, Simon Bedford said: “If Manchester had featured in the recently published North American Crane Index, it would have ranked number two – behind Toronto but in front of Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago. That might have seemed like a remarkable stat a few years ago given Manchester only had one crane in the sky in 2011, but today the figure is a massive 78 sites under construction.” It is clear that gradually, Manchester’s skyline is transforming with international building designers leaving their mark on our vibrant city. Many of the construction projects have been backed by significant investment, a strong business community and an influx of new talent wanting to live and work in Manchester. Rhys Harris, Associate Director at Morson International said: “This is great news for Manchester and yet more evidence that the construction industry is booming. Coupled with the increase in cranes in the city, we are also experiencing a significant increase in the number of construction jobs available, giving candidates the perfect opportunity to progress their career with Morson.”Find out more
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP | 2 MIN READ Find out what makes our future leaders tick Read about how to develop millennial's into your firm's next generation of leaders Download our cultural change whitepaper Generally born between 1980 and 2000, Generation Y is a contentious group, facing a career that is vastly different from their predecessors. Not only are the industries, technologies and fields that are on offer, changing the perception of what leadership is and how to best foster it within an upcoming workforce that is more mobile than ever. These millennials are the people that businesses now need to impress in order for them to attract the best talent into their company, with a long-term plan of them working their way up to leadership. The market is extremely competitive and incorporating culture into the mix makes it a much more complex. The key characteristics of Gen Y are very different, they show less loyalty to their employers, unlike their predecessors who would follow a strict route of education into long-term employment. “Millennials, who are already emerging as leaders in technology and other industries and will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, want to work for organizations that foster innovative thinking, develop their skills, and make a positive contribution to society” They are more short-term focused and extremely tuned into their own needs and wants in order for them to progress up the ladder to leadership. The fact that they will be our future leaders is not the only reason to take this prospering group of people seriously, their niche skills, creative ideas and social status is also something to note. They pose a number of strengths of which can be beneficial to a company’s strategy both short and long-term. “It is clear that top talent want to work innovatively and organisations must foster innovative thinking. This will not only help retain the best talent but It will drive high-performance and efficiencies to gain a competitive advantage” - Ben Fitzgerald, Head of Professional Services, Morson If you would like to find out more about how to engineer cultural change, download our free guide below which explores what cultural change is, why it is so important for your business and how to engineer a cultural change as part of a successful growth strategy.Find out more
Morson Vital Training’s (MVT) scheme of offering free rail training to ex-forces personnel stems from the heart-warming story of veteran Andy Reid and his friend Alex Kemp. With the story now across the national media, we spoke to Andy, MVT and Step Forward Homes to find out more. “We knew the free rail training would give him the opportunity to get into a healthier, safer lifestyle with a roof over his head. It’s about giving these people a hand-up, not a handout.” - Andy Reid Andy Reid has been Morson Group’s ex-forces ambassador for the last 12 months. A veteran of the 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, Andy’s life was changed forever in October 2009 he lost both of his legs and his right arm after stepping on an IED plate whilst serving in Afghanistan. “The guys gave me immediate first aid and got me onto a stretcher and back to the forward operating base. A young guy called Alex Kemp was there, and he rushed into the tent with the doctor and between them they gave me life-saving first aid." Being section commander during the tour of Afghanistan, Andy and his fellow soldiers formed strong bonds living together in camp. “Alex was a very young lad, just 18 years old at the time. Strangely, he was the third oldest guy in the section. So to him, I wasn’t just a commander and leader, I was also a kind of father figure as well I think.” This bond would prove to be a lasting one, and Andy reached out to Alex when it became clear that he was going through a bad time: “I was really proud that when Alex fell on hard times due to his PTSD and his relationship breaking down that he had the mental strength and courage to reach out to me. I wanted to help him. I knew he had complex issues and needed mental health guidance, counselling and help with accommodation and employment. He’d always mentioned that he wanted to work on the railway. So with my connections as a brand ambassador for Morson and Step Forward Homes, I knew I could help.” Step Forward Homes are a not-for-profit organisation based in Knutsford, Cheshire. They provide new build, affordable homes to Britain’s armed forces and emergency services personnel. Gary Metcalf, a representative from the organisation, said: “We look to also provide on-going support for ex-forces veterans. We’ve helped over 200 soldiers over the last three years and plan on helping another 1,000 over the next three." Crucial to Alex’s ability to sustain one of these homes was regular income. Unemployed and with a minor drug habit, Alex was in a situation he was struggling to see a way out of without help. At the Morson annual conference, Andy spoke with Matthew Leavis, head of UK training for Morson Group. Morson has a long history of working with ex-forces men and women across multiple sectors, and at any time have upwards of 500 veterans deployed in civilian roles. When Matt met Alex, it was clear that something needed to be done to help him out, and so the idea of free rail training for ex-forces personnel was born. A Matt recalls: “I was introduced to Alex and I spent a bit of time getting to know about his story and I found it incredibly moving. I think one of the key drivers for me in terms of helping him was the fact that Gary and Step Forward Homes had promised a house based on the fact that he had sustainable employment. We knew the rail training would give him the opportunity to get into a healthier, safer lifestyle with a roof over his head. Fast forward slightly, and we worked with Alex over a six week period to make sure he was ready to go into the training course and ready to take advantage of the opportunities given." Seeing the profound effect the free training had on Alex’s life, Andy and Matt decided that it might be beneficial to offer this to a wider audience. Using Andy’s network of contacts, an open session was organised at Morson Vital Training’s head office in Salford to offer places on the training course and as a result of this, a further three veterans have completed their training. Morson remains committed to expanding the offering of the free rail training courses to many more ex-forces veterans and further developing their offering. “Ex-forces people have a really high level, transferrable skillset, so fingers crossed this partnership with Andy and Step Forward Homes will make a huge difference to many people. This isn’t about making a profit, it’s about making a difference." For more information about our ex-forces activity, visit our hub. To search for opportunities across the sector click here. Or, browse our dedicated HS2 and Hinkley Point C pages for more information.Find out more