A revamped Routes into Rail campaign website, backed by Network Rail, The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and industry partners Amey, HS2, Railway Industry Association (RIA) and VolkerRail, is set to deliver on the rail sector’s looming skills gap and workforce shortfall, through a new, targeted approach, to attracting new talent.
The revamped website is seeking to attract a brand-new generation of talent into the rail sector, bringing new skills and significantly increasing the workforce, especially younger people with technical and digital skills, and experienced people changing career from the military.
Routes into Rail is a sector-wide initiative, originally launched in 2020, during the pandemic. It aims to be the first point of contact for advice and information on all entry pathways into the sector. It also targets parents, teachers and career advisors.
Its website relaunch has broadened its scope through showcasing the multitude of exciting and rewarding rail careers on offer and demonstrating that there’s a career in rail for everyone, no matter their age, gender or education level.
Routes into Rail is funded by six industry founding partners: Network Rail, HS2, VolkerRail, Amey, RIA, and BEIS. The initiative is led by the rail skills organisation NSAR.
Routes into Rail is also partnering with UCAS and RBD Rail Recruiter. The UCAS partnership will help Routes into Rail reach young people considering their study and career opportunities. The RBD Rail Recruiter on the website will provide access to the latest rail careers and industry-specific careers advice.
Amit Kotecha, Network Rail said: “Rail is transitioning into a modern, people-centred and technologically driven industry. We are an industry that requires new ways of working to better deliver for the passenger and for goods. As an industry, we must attract new talent bringing new ideas and the people to deliver them. However, rail must compete against other sectors to attract new talent and that’s why Network Rail is backing Routes into Rail to showcase rail as a smart career choice.”
Steve Cocliff, VolkerRail managing director, said: “Rail needs to stand out from the crowd. Routes into Rail is a much-needed industry-led initiative, which we are delighted to support. Every organisation working in rail, whether public or private, can get involved, and together, we can inspire more young people to consider a career in rail.”
Neil Robertson, NSAR CEO said: “We need more people, especially younger people in the rail sector to help deliver on NetZero. It’s clean energy and technology, which must be exploited far faster if we want to create a truly sustainable future. We need fresh energy to help deliver this huge challenge in the UK and beyond. Launching our new website at the UK’s premier events for young people thinking about their next step – whether further education or an apprenticeship – was the perfect choice.”