The OA and Siemens were joined by Network Rail, Northern Rail, Transport for London and Alan Dicks Communication at the National Training Academy for Rail in Northampton, on 30 March, to provide an insight day for Service leavers.
Phil Heathcote, Sales Director for Siemens Rail Systems stated that rail passengers numbers were now at the same level as the 1920s – the supposed ‘golden age’ of rail – and are set to double within 20 years. He highlighted the pace of innovation within the sector, the commitment to sustained investment and the need to convert Victorian rail infrastructure to digital, as key reasons why rail will continue to provide fulfilling career opportunities for Service leavers.
All speakers highlighted the skills gaps within the transportation sector and how the experiences of military Service leavers were highly valued: There are many similarities between transportation and the military including the camaraderie, work ethic and focus on safety. Mike Reid, a former major with the PWRR and now project manager with Siemens, said “Rail is full of people who care about what they do.”
Service leavers attending the event were able to learn more about an industry that makes a difference to people’s lives from an enthusiastic group of people. One Royal Marine officer commented how valuable it was to find a wide variety of career options on offer to Service leavers.
During the insight event, Siemens demonstrated their commitment to the Armed Forces community by signing the Covenant. Part of this pledge is to target the increasing number of veterans within the business from 5% to 10%. This is seen as a win-win situation; a solution to the industry skills gap and also a rewarding second career for service leavers.
Pete Liddle, OA Business Development Manager, commented, “We would like to congratulate Siemens on the success of the insight day and their growing commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant. Their public acknowledgement of the value of former Service personnel to their business, and ability to action their commitment, speaks volumes about the impact recruiting military personnel has within Siemens and the transport industry as a whole.”