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HomeCareersMeet our peopleMeet Kashif Ashraf

Meet Kashif Ashraf

Kashif Ashraf has been working at VolkerRail for over a year, joining us as a rail operative 2, and quickly progressing to a rail operative 3, after completing a wide range of training and progression plans.

Rail operatives are crucial to our projects, as they ensure that our work is carried out effectively and safely, so everyone gets home safely every day.

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Tell us about your role

A rail operative 3 is a safety critical role, in which I carry out controller of site safety (COSS) duties, working on or near the line, to make sure everyone is working safely. I also undertake the role of engineering supervisor, setting up worksites to allow the engineering works to start safely, and ensure others in my team are equipped for their roles as a responsible manager.

For my role on the Hope Valley Railway Upgrade project, where I am currently based, I am involved in booking line blockages, issuing safe work pack request forms to the project planner, and submitting a labour request form to the rail operations division, to outline how many people we will need on the project over the course of the next six months.

How does your role help our projects?

My role ensures everyone gets home safe every day, by providing projects with the knowledge and guidance needed, on all safety-critical duties being carried out. I am a very organised person, a skill needed for this type of role, and I have my own tracker document that is linked to a master tracker, which allows me to get a close insight into what is going on across several projects.

What does a normal day look like?

There isn’t really a normal day for me. Each day can be different.

My days do, however, go quickly, as I am always kept busy in all the planning and integration of a project.

How long have you been in the rail industry?

I have been in the rail industry for 12 years. I have a huge appreciation for the way VolkerRail operates, with robust policies and procedures in place to make sure every project is carried out safely. I also love the atmosphere;, everyone on the team is brilliant to work with. If you ever need any help, you know somebody is always on hand.

What brought you into the rail sector?

When I left college, I was involved in a family-led clothing retail store, but I wanted to find a career for myself. When I was 19, I went to a place called ‘Connections’, which was running a railway engineering apprenticeship. It immediately grabbed my attention, so I went over and asked some questions, and quickly enrolled into a Level 3 NVQ in engineering.

Why do you enjoy working in the rail industry?

I enjoy it because it provides me with a challenge. There is so much that goes on, and lots to get involved with. I get a real sense of achievement when I use the skills gained through my qualifications and see all the machines and engineering trains being used effectively, and everyone working safely.

Railway morale is also a real thing! It’s always a great environment – there is never a dull day.

What training and development have you undertaken at VolkerRail?

When I joined the business, I started off as a rail operative 2, but I said from the start that I was here to ‘climb the ladder’ and progress. When I was going through my personal development review (PDR), I was offered training to gain my competencies in lift planning, which I took, and I am now a qualified responsible manager.

I know there is so much in-house training available at VolkerRail, and I plan on going on more training courses in the future.

Tony Spilsbury, rail operations business manager, said: “Kashif epitomises everything we are looking for in a rail operative. He is hard working, and his determination to succeed and develop is why he received his promotion to a rail operative 3. This also demonstrates that the rail operations team - and VolkerRail - provides a real platform for career progression.”

Intersted in a career at VolkerRail? visit our job portal and apply today.