“In response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic the North West & Central resourcing team had to think about changing our approach to everyday tasks particularly those which influence our approach to attraction and early engagement.
With that in mind the team created five role profile videos to not only highlight the variety of roles at NR but also profile our talented workforce, helping us to attract the best candidates from a diverse, inclusive talent pool reflective of society. The final five short videos were filmed from a range of locations including delivery units, worksites, stations, and offices, using iphones and adhering to social distancing measures. With support and guidance from our communications team the videos manage to showcase the great people we have at Network Rail and how they have adapted to keep essential workers, freight and the country moving during the pandemic. This shift in dynamic from the traditional written role profile brings to life how particular roles, and the work people do in those roles at Network rail, matter to millions.
The Knock Your Socks Off work experience programme is established in NW&C region as our leading early engagement scheme, which being very practical and face to face sadly could not run throughout 2020. Employer based activities was a gap, highlighted by our partner colleges in their curriculum due to pandemic restrictions. As a result, Ready4Rail a virtual engineering focused work experience scheme, was established by the NW&C resourcing team as an opportunity to engage with more colleges in all areas of the region, whilst building a future apprentice pipeline. We collaborate with industry partners Mott McDonald and Avanti to provide Year 12 & 13 students with an insight into a career in the wider rail industry. The week consists of interactive sessions with engineers, videos showcasing maintenance, safety, operations, planning, finance, career development and apprenticeships. The blended week of knowledge sharing, and interactive activities culminate in a project-based competition to both re-design Euston Station, and design a High-Speed Rail route from Birmingham to London. Between November 2020 and March 2021, the scheme has been delivered to over 180 students spanning the NW&C region, with many students fast tracked to our apprentice assessment centres.
Quotes from students –
• Couldn't improve it, loved every minute of it and sad that it's over so quickly. Really enjoyable week, meeting new people and friends, new skill sets, new knowledge. Overall really informative week. Finally, big thanks to all who helped through this week from the Q&A people displaying altruism by giving up their time, couldn't of done it without them. Thank you to Sara the host for the week and Faye for giving me this opportunity, i would like to express my gratitude to those who made the videos as well, really helpful. Everyone in my group 2 as well from the project have decided we should stay in touch and keep collaborating, so really good experiences.
• I would highly suggest anyone to participate in this virtual work experience because it provides an overview of the network rail system.
• In my opinion, the virtual work experience programme was perfect and well planned also interesting and challenging.
• I enjoyed it very much and would recommend it to any training engineers. Helped me realize and figure out what I want to do when I leave college and I think it will help others figure it out too“