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Rail firms woo army signals engineers

RAIL CONTRACTORS were this week targeting army signalling experts to fill skills gaps.

Each year hundreds of army signals engineers shift into the telecommunications sector with few ever considering the option of working on the railways.

Specialist recruitment agency McGinley is now actively targeting this resource.

'Royal Signals engineers are highly trained in directly transferable skills and are used to working in safety critical environments. This makes them very attractive to our clients in the rail industry, ' said McGinley chairman, Dermot McGinley.

Skills shortages in the rail industry are threatening to undermine efforts to deliver rail improvements in line with the government's 10 year transport plan. Signalling is one area where this shortage is hitting hardest. Every year around 720 signalling vacancies have to be filled.

To combat this, McGinley has teamed up with the Ministry of Defence Career Transition Partnership (CTP) whose job is to smooth the transition from army careers into civilian ones.

Seminars have been planned over the coming weeks to brief CTP staff on the options.

lA rush of maintenance work has been undertaken this week ahead of the launch of a new Railtrack driven safety scheme.

From Saturday, trackside workers must demonstrate that all possible safety measures have been considered before they start work on a particular site under the new risk minimisation scheme.

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