Rail Industry Embraces Armed Forces Leavers

Rail Forum, in association with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), were delighted to facilitate the introduction of a host of recent and soon to be Service Leavers to 22 employers within the rail industry at our ‘Military is Good for Rail’ event on 19 October.

Recognising the challenge of the growing skills gap and the scarcity of skills in the rail industry, this initiative represents a fantastic opportunity to attract talented individuals with transferable skills into rail. It is also a great opportunity to provide support to our Armed Forces with their transition from military to civilian life, both through individuals who have made that transition into rail from the forces sharing their experience and through opening the door to new careers.

Rail is a great fit for Service Leavers and Veterans and the engagement from employers at the event demonstrated the appetite that the industry has to offer opportunities to Service Leavers. There was a lot of talent in attendance that needs to be ‘hoovered up’ by rail, as so aptly put by Simon Higgens MBE, Vice Chair at the Rail Forum and Business Development Director at Story Contracting.

Dave Hornsey, Employer Relationship Manager at CTP, said: “The Career Transition Partnership were delighted to again work with the Rail Forum to deliver a successful Military is Good for Rail event in Derby. To quote from some of the delegates –

‘This has been a really great day. I have learnt a lot.’
‘I have options in the Rail Industry I had not even considered until today.’
‘Understanding where my skills and experience could be applied for businesses here today reassures me that there will be a career for me beyond the Army’.

“As many arrived you could sense their apprehension about how they should approach companies, by the end of the session the excitement about future opportunity and the overall sense of wellbeing was clear to those present. The Rail Industry is clearly growing and that allows for some of those with military skills to make an approach to welcoming companies where they will find chance to thrive. They all face challenges but will embrace them as they move forwards into new careers, hopefully there will be some reported success from this event!”

Simon Higgens MBE said: “Military is Good for Rail goes from strength to strength.  In association with the CTP and delivered by the Rail Forum, the event was superb and introduced scores of Service Leavers to over 20 rail companies from across the UK looking to recruit them.  I was impressed by the quality and breadth of experience from this year’s cohort of Service Leavers and Story have today made connections with several individuals who will hopefully start their second careers with us soon.  While the military cannot wholly bridge the industry’s skills gap, it can certainly play a major part and provides a rich vein of talent.  More of the same and soon please Rail Forum.”

Russell Heward, Group Client Manager, The QSS Group, said: “Thank you Elaine and the Rail Forum for a very productive day at the ‘Military is Good for Rail’ event held at the Derby Conference Centre.  The day was set perfectly with an introduction to the military delegates on how the day will take shape and the importance of the military to the Rail industry. This was followed by a great introduction by Simon Higgens MBE who is the Vice-Chairman of the Rail Forum on how he spent 30 years in the Military and then straight into the Rail Industry. We spoke to some great people and on my return to the office after the event I had already received two CVs in my inbox.  The event met all my expectations and more”.

Sara Pierrepont, Sales & Project Manager at Millenium Site Services, said: “This was Millenium Site Services first time at the Rail Forum Military is Good for Rail event. As we have come to expect from Rail Forum, it was organised to perfection, with a great welcoming introduction and outstanding calibre of potential employees.”

Sarah Stant, Group Marketing & Communications Manager at Wabtec UK, said: “Wabtec is proud to have a strong commitment to military veteran recruitment and development and currently has over 7,000 veteran employees globally. Wabtec were pleased to exhibit at the recent Military is Good for Rail event that took place at the Derby Conference Centre.

“The quality of the attendees was fantastic, bringing with them a wide range of skills to offer the industry. We have already had a number of people contacting us and look forward to welcoming them to the team!”

Elaine Clark, CEO at Rail Forum said: “It was brilliant to have so many Rail Forum members supporting this event. We wish all the delegates looking for new careers the best of luck in their job hunting and hope that as a result of being introduced to rail and the variety of careers that the industry has to offer, some, if not all, will join the railway.”


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