VolkerRail launches Rail Operations Academy

Earlier this month, VolkerRail welcomed its first cohort of railway operatives, as part of a newly launched Rail Operations Academy, designed to develop the next generation of safety critical workers, who together, will support the businesses needs and keep its workforce safe.

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Our ability to continuously deliver projects, from smaller contracts through to nationally significant major schemes, has helped our clients bring communities together and provide better services for passengers.

To ensure we deliver the best service to our clients and provide employees with the highest standards of safety, VolkerRail developed a rail operatives team, made up of over 150 highly skilled and experienced staff, all trained to undertake a variety of safety critical roles across our worksites, including SWL2, nominated persons, machine controllers, COSS, and POS representatives.

On Monday 12 June, we welcomed the first six members of the academies first cohort (eight in total).

Each member will spend the next year developing both technical and non-technical skills through in-house training, mentoring and support, working across a wide spectrum of disciplines, including our Plant, Signalling, and Power divisions, and on a variety of projects, gaining an insight into operational planning, and safety critical works. To date, all have undertaken and passed PTS/DCCR and will begin their track induction in the coming weeks.

Commenting, Tony Spilsbury, rail operations business manager, said: “As someone who is passionate about safety critical success, I am excited about the potential opportunities being created by the Rail Operations Academy. I look forward to developing the potential in our first cohort, as we see them progress into experienced driven and enthusiastic operatives.”

Connor Sheldon, trainee rail operative, said: “I left school with a few decent qualifications, but I was confused about what industry I could join and succeed in. A friend suggested a career in rail, so I looked online and saw the advertisement for this position. What attracted me to the industry is how diverse it is, there is also great career progression within VolkerRail - it’s like one big family - and the support I have had from the team already is fantastic.”

“Since joining the academy, I have undertaken and passed my PTS/DCCR and will shortly work towards my OLEC1 and track induction. I’ve also had several site visits and site inductions. I am thoroughly enjoying it and I look forward to going out on site and learning from more experienced colleagues.”

Stuart Birch, major projects director, commented: “Creation of the Rail Operations Academy adds a further career pathway for new entrants to VolkerRail, and is complementary to our existing range of academy workstreams and apprenticeships. We believe this is an industry first, supporting our envied rail systems self-delivery capability in the UK rail sector, and generating extra ordinary value for our customers.”