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Talent on Track: Bridging the skills gap in the rail industry

We've taken a closer look at the rail sector, uncovering the impact the clean air movement is having on recruitment in rail, the latest updates and developments of major rail projects such as Crossrail and HS2, and how the rail industry needs to become more diverse in order to overcome the industry skill shortage.

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The UK runs on rail, contributing £870 million to the UK economy each year.

It comes as no surprise that the rail industry has had a massive impact on the UK job market, employing close to a quarter of a million people. However, as the government invests in more and more large-scale projects like HS2 and Crossrail, this number is rising year on year.

Right now, the capacity of our railway is strained.

Huge infrastructure projects, including HS2 and Crossrail require thousands of skilled workers to ensure the projects are delivered on time and to budget. 

Over the past twenty years, we’ve become one of the leading rail recruitment companies in the UK.

Based on our expertise in rail recruitment, our report dives into the staffing problems the industry faces, as well as charting our progress to finding a solution to the reactive recruitment needs of the latest rail revolution.

At Rullion, we understand the strain on the industry, having noticed a significant increase in demand for highly skilled workers over a wider variety of roles.

Not only is the sector under demand for skills, but rail is entering an exciting, technology-driven era, with a particular focus on green collar roles, resulting in a need for talent across specialisms including digital technology and environmental assessment.

At the same time, the need for traditional engineers and technical workers is stronger than ever, with an estimated 7,200 more of them needed in high speed rail by 2023. How do you maintain your volume recruitment needs with engineering and construction workers, whilst also creating an offering that attracts highly skilled and sought after digital technology and green collar talent?

Our insight covers:

The impact of the clean air movement

To meet the government target of net-zero emissions by 2050 in the UK, there is an increase in demand for ‘Green Collar’ talent.

Overcoming the gender imbalance

Like many sectors, the skills shortage in the rail industry is being exacerbated by a long-standing, sector-wide gender imbalance.

Developments on UK major projects

The government is investing more and more in major infrastructure programmes, having a considerable impact on recruitment and talent across the sector.

For up to date salaries and rates from across the rail industry, download Talent on Track here.

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The rail sector has seen several cycles of reinvention. Today, the rail sector is re-evaluating its impact on the environment as part of the same 'clean air' movement that has spurred investment in electric and hydrogen-powered cars. 

In 2019 alone, 65% of roles we've filled with our rail partners have been green collar roles, and this number continues to rise. 

We're now placing more Ecologists and Air Quality Consultants then ever before.

The changing landscape of recruitment in rail