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Railtrack will not poach staff in recruiting drive

RAILTRACK PLANS to recruit 250 engineers in a campaign starting this summer, but has assured its contractors that staff will not be poached.

Money has been set aside in the network operator's budget to pay for the campaign and for so called golden handshake payments.

Railtrack is particularly keen to recruit signalling and track engineers after coming under fire for its lack of engineering expertise in operations and maintenance. Despite the confirmation last week that it will no longer be solely responsible for major projects, it will also need engineers for schemes on which it retains responsibility including the West Coast Main Line, now valued at over £6bn.

Corporate resourcing manager Mark Payne said that Railtrack was broadening its search for graduates and was also looking at recently retired engineers.

He added that Railtrack recognised that poaching staff from its contractors would only be 'shooting itself in the foot, ' saying it would be looking at engineers from other construction sectors.

Railtrack will continue to recruit from abroad after recent success in South Africa, albeit at high financial cost.

An 'exceptional item' was declared in last year's financial figures to fund the campaign but Payne stressed payments to attract staff would only be paid on a case by case basis.

The campaign is planned to last until autumn, but Payne accepts that Railtrack will not fill the vacancies this year.

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