COVID-19 has changed the World forever and has long lasting implications for us all. Organisations have changed the model in how their employees work, and in essence provided a new flexible working model. Whilst this model has many benefits, one downside is that team interaction and human connection. Also for new starters it potentially can be a challenge having an induction purely working from home.
So when rail organisations are looking for candidates in an office environment such as signalling or telecoms designers, having a flexible approach to candidate onboarding can reap significant benefits. Bostonair Group have invested over £2m in candidate training in both the Aviation and Wind Energy sectors, and what we have found is that by investing significantly in each candidate before they are supplied to a client that when they start they can hit the ground running. This is true for candidates with transferable skills whether they are from those aforementioned sectors, automotive, construction or have an ex-forces background. Our customer base includes Siemens Gamesa, DHL/EAT and MHI Vestas, and we have heavily invested in training for technicians we supply to those customers.
The flexible working model that COVID-19 has effectively instigated therefore can work well for onboarding candidates also that haven’t worked in the rail sector before, partnering with Boston Rail will give you immediate access to thousands of excellent candidates, significant investment in training those candidates, and ongoing support once the candidate is placed with you. Boston Rail operate 2-year programmes covering Signalling, Telecoms and Electrification, and the Design element which would require an office environment in ‘normal times’ can be achieved with the working from home or blended model. Giving these candidates 1 or 2 days a week in the office and buddying them up with a mentor means that when they do work from home they are clear on what needs to be achieved. Having video technology is vital to this, meaning candidates have access to their mentor whenever is required and communication remains open at all times. So we believe it is possible to have successful onboarding and have the candidates work to a high level with this blended working model, but it does need commitment from the rail organisation to help make it work.
Boston Rail’s investment programme means that rail organisations looking for new talent do not need to heavily invest because our models give the options for customers to take candidates permanently at the end of the 2-year programme. This is a clear win/win for all parties. Why would we do this? Boston Rail are passionate about ex-forces and candidates that have skillsets that are transferable and can be developed. We have seen in our other sectors of operation the clear benefits a strategic approach has taken. Creating pools of talented individuals to work on aircraft types that are becoming increasingly niche, giving ex-forces talent a start in the Wind Sector and seeing hem go on to become Site Managers for our customers is what we are all about. We can do the same for Rail customers. We are about long-term solutions, not short-term fixes and putting sustainable models and personnel in place to deliver high quality outcomes.
The clear advantage in relation to Boston Rail’s programme for customers is that at the end of the 2-year point the candidate will have become experienced, added value, and has had all the training paid for Boston Rail. In the case of Signalling we would also pay for IRSE licence and IRSE assessments. As Boston Rail will directly employ candidates there will be no admin, taxation, pension and other payroll costs for our customers to bear. A managed programme has clear benefits which is why a partnership approach is the best way forward. The other advantage is that with CP6, HS2, Project Speed and other Rail infrastructure programmes, having a clearly defined route for new talent to enter the sector, invested in, and a long-term future ahead of them means that manpower shortfalls will not be as acute. Utilising Boston Rail’s entry-level (and existing) talent programmes have clearly defined benefits that can massively support the rail sector when the investment truly kicks in.
If you are interested in our entry level and existing rail talent programmes then please contact Tom Anderton, Head of Rail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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