INFRA Skills’ Ltd, winner of the ‘Proactive Educational Provider of an Apprenticeship Programme’,(Education Awards 2019), have recently expanded the company’s in-house transport fleet by purchasing a brand new 16-seater minibus to meet increased customer demand.

The continuous success of both the UK’s first Rail Apprenticeship Standard and fully-funded programmes,(designed to provide a direct route into the rail sector), has led to the company expanding its fleet to include a Vauxhall Movano 16-seater minibus. This will enable the company to continue to work towards meetings it’s objectives of helping to deliver highly skilled personnel from a variety of backgrounds to ultimately reduce the skills shortage and provide a lasting legacy for the industry.

Multiple cohorts undergo training with INFRA Skills every month and the programmes consist of e-learning, tutor-led delivery, at various locations across the UK as well as practical training on live local tracks and at the company’s dedicated training facility at The Severn Valley Railway in Bewdley. With regular travel included in the programmes, this vehicle will play a vital role, allowing trainers to escort learners to and from site safely.

The minibus conforms to the latest European standards on emissions and is fitted with sophisticated telemetry systems to enable the Fleet team to monitor vehicle and driver performance. This helps to improve driving styles, which in turn will bring important safety, fuel efficiency and emission reduction benefits.

INFRA Skills’ and its sister company RSS Infrastructure Ltd (RSSI), (a leading supplier of infrastructure services), were one of the first companies within the rail sector to utilise a specialist Driver Awareness Warning System (DAWS) fitted into vehicles throughout the fleet. INFRA Skills’ new vehicle will also have this dash-mounted device installed. The system works by focussing on the driver’s retina and measures their ‘blinking pattern’ sounding audible warning if signs of drowsiness, fatigue or lack of attention is detected.

As well as this, the vehicle will also have a Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) and a dash-cam device to protect the driver and passengers. Data is captured from the VTS, and can be used to identify trends and improve driving performance through advisement and training. Real-time footage captured from the dash-cams is instantly available, meaning the severity of any incident can be immediately assessed, and instant support and assistance can be provided. All vehicles are subject to pre checks before each use, using the RSSI phone application. The vehicle will also be monitored using telematics, which covers speed, idling, braking and the general driving of the vehicle to ensure it is being utilised safely and efficiently
Within the rail industry it has been identified that drivers not wearing their seatbelt has become a reoccurring issue. RSSI have designed seatbelt covers that will be placed on all seats, constructed of high-visibility material, to highlight the importance of wearing your seatbelt as well as acting as a visual reminder. The minibus also has a self-operating step for easy access into the vehicle as well as automatic headlights.

Following last year’s rebrand, the vehicle will reflect the company’s new brand identity. The ‘Superhero’ design, integrated into the minibus design, helps to position INFRA Skills as an organisation that can empower learners to become more competent, productive and safe at work; within the infrastructure sector and beyond.

The design also includes a comprehensive overview of the course programmes that the company is accredited to deliver including: Rail Safety Critical, Health and Safety, Construction, Welding, Mental Health and First Aid, Vegetation Management, Crane Controller, as well as being able to design and deliver high quality rail apprenticeship programmes on behalf of clients.
Steve Cox, Head of Training Operations, commented “This vehicle highlights INFRA Skill’s commitment to reducing our impact on the environment and being able to expand our fleet with a fully equipped vehicle which monitors vehicle use, ensures our emissions are as minimal as possible. This van will allow us to transport learners efficiently and safely to and from our on-site training locations, ensuring that ‘Everyone [returns] home safe, everyday”.

INFRA Skills Ltd are delighted to announce they have been shortlisted for the ‘Proactive Educational Provider of an Apprenticeship Programme’ because of their continuous investment in the future generation leaders within the infrastructure industry. INFRA Skills have spearheaded the movement to increase the quality of rail apprenticeships by becoming the first company in the UK to deliver the Level 3 Rail Apprenticeship Standard. Working in partnership with Colas Rail, who act as the employer, they have designed a bespoke apprenticeship programme that provides learners of all ages with a route into the rail sector. Honing in on their scientific, technical, engineering, mathematical and design skillsets, this programme will give the candidates the best opportunity to gained varied knowledge and skills surrounding the rail sector.

The Education Awards is an opportunity to celebrate the outstanding contributions that various companies make to the education industry. With 16 awards up for grabs, the category winners will have the chance to work with the sponsors on a live community project.

With so many upcoming major projects on the horizon, it is crucial that the rail industry acknowledges the challenges it faces in terms of; a lack of diversity, aging workforce, skills shortages and resources being underutilised. With this being said INFRA Skills are heavily investing in their apprenticeship scheme, knowing such programmes are key to ensure a successful future within the industry.

As part of this joint initiative, INFRA Skills supported both Colas Rail and the apprenticeships, by developing a series of Level 3 Diplomas that cater for both the employers and learners needs. These diplomas cover a number of core areas and cater for a variation of disciplines across the sector including; Track, OLE, Traction Rolling Stock and Signalling. In addition to this, Behavioural Based Safety, Asbestos Awareness, Hazard Awareness and Equality & Inclusion training is also included within each Level 3 Diploma.

Apprentices enrolled on the Trailblazer’s scheme will also be offered a free membership to the PWI, which will allow them to use ‘MPWI’ after their name and also illustrates their commitment to professional development. After attaining their Level 3 qualification, each learner will have gained enough track experience to register with the Engineering Council as Engineering Technicians, certifying them as ‘EngTech MPWI’.

In conjunction with the ‘on the job learning,’ apprentices are given track experience through the company’s dedicated training facility based at Seven Valley Railway. The apprentices also benefit from the company’s partnership with the Armed Forces allowing them to develop their lateral thinking, team-building and communication skills by taking part in the ‘Exercise Industry Challenge.’

As a leading voice within the industry, The National Skills Academy (NSAR) supported INFRA Skills in their vision, realising the significance of how this standard would make Rail Apprenticeships more flexible and focused on the needs of employers. By delivering an apprenticeship that meets the industry’s needs, INFRA Skills are helping to ensure that the sector can remain sustainable and grow. This collaboration ensures that learners can acquire real progression opportunities through Colas Rail, and so far, a total of 54 apprentices have progressed through the training using the new standard, and a second cohort has been commissioned for delivery.

INFRA Skills have also been recognised for their long-standing history of working to improve working conditions and reducing the skills gap through their partnerships with local agencies, colleges, charities and government departments. Creating bespoke ‘Journey into rail’ programmes, INFRA Skills helps those with disabilities and individuals struggling to find employment, by reducing the number of barriers facing them when seeking work. This fully-funded programmes encompass a wide range of learning techniques including e-learning, tutor-led delivery as well as on-site practical experience at their dedicated training facility at the Severn Valley Railway, Bewdley. The success of these programmes has been undeniable, with a guaranteed interview upon completion of the training, over 170 people have gained employment with either RSS Infrastructure or one it’s partners since 2018.

INFRA Skills are extremely grateful to have been recognised by the Education Awards for their hard work and dedication to the future of the industry. We wish them and all the other nominees the best of luck for the upcoming awards!

INFRA Skills Ltd (IS), a subsidiary of Auctus Management Group, have been working closely with Colas Rail to launch the UK’s first level 3 Trailblazers Rail Apprenticeship scheme in 2018. Working in collaboration, they have together designed a bespoke apprenticeship that provides learners with a route into the rail sector, honing in on their scientific, technical, engineering, mathematical and design skillsets.

Awarded a ‘Gold Standard’ by the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), they have been supported with their vision, realising the significance of how this new standard would make Rail Apprenticeships more flexible and focussed on the needs of employers.
IS and Colas Rail are supporting both learners and employers by developing a series of level 3 diplomas covering a varying range of competencies. The Level 3 Diploma for Rail Engineering Technician Knowledge supports the apprenticeships as they work towards developing the knowledge and skills required to complete the four core areas of the scheme. These include; Track, OLE, Signalling and most recently Traction Rolling Stock introduced in September 2018.

The Level 3 Diploma for Rail Engineering Technician Knowledge (track) covers the fundamental knowledge needed for assessing the condition of the infrastructure, following the completion of maintenance, inspection and or/renewal work. This has been established by providing learners with an understanding of track geometry and position, as well as planning and monitoring permanent way activities.
Colas Rail identified a significant skills shortage in the OLE industry, and as there wasn’t currently an apprenticeship programme built to cater for this sector, the Level 3 Diploma for Rail Engineering (OLE) was designed by IS. This training programme covers installation of small part steelworks, contact wiring, sectioning, insulation, registration and in-span components as well as providing an in-depth overview on how to enhance or renew OLE earthing and bonding cables.

As Colas Rail are one the of the UK’s biggest providers of Traction Rolling Stock, it was imperative that an apprenticeship path was created in order to safeguard future growth and sustainability. This is the most recent addition to the Level 3 Diploma, and aims to meet the needs of the employer ensuring that, upon completion, learners are able to; find diagnose and correct faults, identify potential faults and defects within electrical circuits and maintain and renew different types of traction and rolling stock, as well as use a range of fastenings including crimping and torque.

The final part of the training programme sees the apprentices develop their understanding of signal engineering. Learners are provided with a comprehensive framework that covers signalling equipment maintenance, fault finding, installation or testing.
In addition to the above, apprentices are also taught Behavioural Based Safety, Asbestos Awareness, Hazard Awareness, Sentinel and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion training. These courses provide apprentices with the knowledge to stay safe as well as helping to develop their understanding of different cultures, communication and inclusion.

To ensure that the apprentices are given extra points of support, IS have engaged with The Permanent Way Institution (PWI), which is a professional body for the UK track engineers and provides technical knowledge and support to those operating on the rail infrastructure. This partnership provides learners with a free membership to the PWI, which will allow them to use ‘MPWI’ after their name and will demonstrate their commitment to professional development. After completing their Level 3 qualification, they will have gained enough track experience to register with the Engineering Council as Engineering Technicians, certifying them as ‘EngTech MPWI’.

This apprenticeship programme has been a huge accomplishment for both INFRA Skills Ltd and Colas Rail, and by reducing the number of barriers faced by young people trying to gain employment, these apprentices will help boost the UK economy and aid the government in meeting their productivity targets. With a total of 54 successful learners having completed the training since 2017, using the new standard, the delivery of a second cohort have been commissioned by Colas Rail.

INFRA Skills Ltd, the UK’s premier safety critical and non-safety critical training provider, deliver training and assessments for infrastructure professionals enabling them to be more productive, and safe at work. INFRA Skills’ training is delivered by an experienced and friendly team, with a wealth of experience in industry and commerce. Their national training is accessible and effective, and through this they have gained industry-wide recognition for creating a training package that exceeds the professional standards required to work in infrastructure.

It’s been an exciting year for the company as they have continued to expand both their brand and training capabilities. INFRA Skills’ have seen countless success stories come through the business over the last 12 months, developing their skillsets and assisting people to find employment within the industry.

INFRA Skills Ltd are now a Gold accredited NSAR rail training and assessor provider, and can deliver courses accredited by City & Guilds, CITB, ILM, Highfields and most recently LANTRA. These accreditation’s mean that the company has met the strict guidelines laid down by each awarding body, in that, all assessments undertaken through INFRA Skills are fair, valid, consistent and meet the requirements of the qualification standards. As well as this INFRA Skills, only last month, successfully completed a RISQS audit to allow the company to provide medical services and alcohol and drug screening.

In a sector with a skills shortage, aging workforce, a lack of diversity and resources being underutilised, INFRA Skills are doing all they can to aid the rail sector in meeting their productivity and infrastructure targets for the next 5 years. Their long-standing history of working in partnership with local agencies, colleges, charities and government departments supporting; black minority ethnic groups, women, ex-offenders, ex-armed forces, young people, those with disabilities and individuals struggling to find employment is a way in which they are aiding this. Working with a number of different organisations such as; The Black Country Impact project, Birmingham City Council and Talent Match, INFRA Skills offer an all-inclusive rail training programme over a period of 3 weeks. This course is designed to give learners mandatory rail qualifications, sector knowledge and experience to enhance their opportunities to achieve sustainable employment within the rail sector. Made up of a combination of e-learning, tutor-led delivery at our Aston site and practical training on live local tracks around Birmingham and the Severn Valley Railway in Bewdley. Through each unique course learners will be given the opportunity to gain various rail and construction competencies, upskilling local people, tackling one of the biggest challenges facing the West Midlands today. With their newly-gained knowledge, confidence and skills, individuals will be given the opportune chance to develop a successful career path.

INFRA Skills have also recently partnered with two local colleges to deliver a unique training opportunity that will provide learners with the opportunity to expand their skillset and improve their employability. The Construction Fund Pilot, funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority took place over a period of 4 weeks – working alongside both Dudley College of Technology and the City of Wolverhampton College with a group of 10 individuals taking part in each course. By the end of the course 17 learners had completed the training and went on to have interviews conducted by RSS Infrastructure Ltd (RSSI).

With the apprenticeship levy being introduced in April 2017, INFRA Skills Ltd are working hard to produce high quality programmes that show a more flexible approach to rail apprenticeships, focusing on the sectors requirements both today and in the future. Partnering with Colas Rail, the UK’s first Level 3 Trailblazers Rail Apprenticeship scheme was launched. Training Manager Dave McDonough, was instrumental in the design and management of this bespoke apprenticeship programme, providing learners with a route into the rail sector, honing in on their scientific, technical, engineering, mathematical and design skillsets. This apprenticeship scheme is a huge accomplishment, and a total of 54 successful learners have completed the training since 2017. The success of this programme has seen INFRA Skills Ltd expand their Rail Engineering apprenticeship programme to now include a technician’s competence in the discipline of Traction and Rolling Stock.

Investing significant resources this year, INFRA Skills has developed a cross-platform Mobile Assessment Application, designed for assessing the competency levels of its workforce using its bespoke bronze, silver and gold question sets. The use of this assessment tool means clients can be assured that personnel have been trained to the highest possible level and remain compliant with the latest industry standards. The applications intuitive design allows the training divisions assessors to conduct assessments anywhere within the UK, even in remote areas where a 3G or 4G connection is not available. The app also has many additional functions including; a camera, e-signature and sketch functionality as well as providing the opportunity to geo-tag the location and timestamp the data. This bespoke application is now being used by INFRA Skills colleagues to assess all of Buckingham’s and RSS Infrastructures SWL’s and COSS’s.

INFRA Skills are not only trying to combat skills fade, but also manage reoccurring problems that are taking place within the industry. Monitoring non-sentinel based competencies has been an issue that continues to impact on workforce safety, as well as putting businesses at risk. INFRA Skill’s latest innovation looks to provide a solution in the form of INFRA-Cards. These industry-leading smart cards work through the use of the latest mobile technology that enables users to scan a QR code which has been printed directly onto each card. Each QR code is unique to the competency card holder and when scanned delivers a complete overview of their skills, competence and qualifications. The QR code can be universally recognised by any QR reader from the Apple App Store, Google Play or Windows Store. With their assessment application and INFRA Cards, INFRA Skills are leading the way with technological innovations to improve safety and productivity within the industry.

When RSSI, sister company to INFRA Skills announced the acquisition of Carillion Welding, a training opportunity for a whole new division arose. RSSI Welding operate a purpose-built welder training facility based in Doncaster, and will now be able to provide training, apprenticeships and staff development courses. The Welding trainers have extensive experience within this field, and are accredited by the Institute of Rail Welding (IORW) and Network Rail Standards to deliver all welder competencies. The division can also offer training in both welding processes Thermit and Railtech, as well as giving learners the ability to gain TW1/4, RT1/5, Groove Welding, MPT, and LPT qualifications. Dale Rourke has been a fantastic addition to the training department, and this expansion of RSSI has provided a whole host of new opportunities for INFRA Skills.

Over the course of this year INFRA Skills has continued to grow, welcoming new additions to their expert training team. In May, Julian Wild joined the organisation; his vast amount of experience and competencies has seen him become a valued member of the training team. Andy Getting’s is the most recent addition to the training department, and his expert knowledge has allowed him to take a lead in the ‘Bronze, Silver Gold’ COSS Assessments for Buckingham’s and RSSI, and in the new year he will be assisting Dave McDonough with the Colas Cohorts. As well as the expansion of the team, Steve Cox has been promoted to the role of Quality Manager within the company. Working for INFRA Skills Ltd since April 2016, Steve has collated an excellent level of knowledge, and will now be accountable for the quality assurance of all learning and assessment programmes.

In November INFRA Skills Ltd, along with RSS Infrastructure Ltd, were awarded the ‘Professional Services’ Award at the Birmingham Post Business Awards 2018. Acknowledging all their hard work and expertise in the rail and construction industry. For the award submission INFRA Skills Ltd showcased their local partnerships, as well as demonstrating their ability to deliver apprenticeship schemes on behalf of various clients, such as their Level 3 Rail Apprenticeship standard in collaboration with Colas Rail. This was a huge success for both companies, being presented with such a prestigious award commending their commitment and dedication to the delivery of ground-breaking solutions, that are helping to provide a lasting legacy which will shape the future landscape of the West Midlands.

The evolution of INFRA Skills from Auctus Training Solutions took place in July this year. Being part of the INFRA Family along with RSSI, they share a common goal, ‘To empower people and industries to create a safer and more productive word’. The company rebrand included a new logo and colour scheme which is a visual reflection of the business; an inspiration for their behaviour and growth of the business. The company values are extremely important to INFRA Skills; grounded, inspirational, credible, passionate and friendly and they are demonstrated continuously through all of their work. The company rebrand has been a huge success, and to end the year on a high INFRA Skills and RSSI have moved to bigger premises in Birmingham. As both companies have expanded, the need for more space was imminent, and this new journey will provide them with the means to continue to expand both businesses and their potential.

It has been a fantastic year for INFRA Skills; from a complete company rebrand, to their team expansion as well as a highly accredited award win. With the success of 2018 and the move into new premises, it seems that the possibilities are endless for the company, and we’re confident that 2019 will bring yet more accomplishments for INFRA Skills.

The UK experienced severe winter conditions last year, with extremely low temperatures and significant snowfall. The consequences of this abnormality led to severe travel disruption from; road closures, traffic collisions and stranded vehicles. With the cold weather imminent, RSS Infrastructure Ltd (RSSI) have seen it as their duty of care to distribute a Winter Car Essentials Kits throughout their driver workforce.

RSSI now have a fleet of over 100 vehicles as well as additional drivers, spread across the breadth of the UK from Scotland to Southampton. To enhance levels of safety for the company’s employees, RSSI have already put a number of safe driver control methods in place including; a Specialist Driver Awareness System, Vehicle Tracking System, Dash Cam’s, Vehicle Speed Restrictions and high-visibility seatbelts.

The Winter Car Essentials Kits will be assembled and distributed by RSSI to contain; an ice scraper, bottle of de-icer, a demister pad and a first aid kit. With the ongoing expansion of the fleet, the safety of the drivers is constantly monitored by Fleet Manager, Simon Capper. The Winter Car Essential Kits is another innovation to make travelling during this period of harsh weather, as easy and safe as possible.

It’s important to adapt to winter driving, and be prepared for journeys that make take you through varied weather, road and traffic conditions. Make sure you plan ahead and only travel in extreme weather conditions if it’s unavoidable.

We hope you have a safe and enjoyable festive period.

Specialist infrastructure services provider, Auctus Management Group Ltd (AMG), and its subsidiary businesses INFRA Skills Ltd and RSS Infrastructure Ltd (RSSI), has announced that following a period of significant growth as a result of winning ‘SME of the Year’ and ‘Professional Services’ at the Network Rail Partnership Awards and Birmingham Post Business Awards, in conjunction with significant contract wins and investment in new services, has led to the organisation relocating to new 10,000 SQ ft premises in the heart of the West Midlands at:

Tech Block,
Gee Business Centre,
Holborn Hill,
B7 5JR

The decision to remain in the area centres around the organisation’s commitment to the government’s strategy for the Midlands to become a “growth engine” by investing in key transport projects, such as HS2 and Midland Metro, as well as and up-skilling the local population. However, these ambitions for the region are hampered by the infrastructures sector skills shortage, an aging workforce, a lack of diversity and resources being underutilised. This reinforces the fact that if the Midlands is to continue to be a serious competitor to the other UK’s ‘powerhouses,’ and meet productivity and efficiency targets, then businesses in the region need to develop new innovative ways of thinking that can ensure regional projects are delivered on time and to budget.

To combat these challenges, RSSI Ltd has for the last 5 years been focusing on being at the forefront of technological innovations that deliver increase levels of safety, efficiency and productivity. This core principle have been the cornerstone of the business since 2012, when the company became a subsidiary of Auctus Management Group Limited, and led to the strategic development of a comprehensive service portfolio that includes; Overhead Line Electrification, Vegetation Management, Road Rail Access Points and Level Crossings, Civils/Construction solutions, Safety Critical Resource Services, Magnetic Safety Barrier Fencing, Protocol Points Boards, Signalling Services as well as being the UK’s sole provider of Track Warning Systems.

The Group also consists of INFRA Skills Ltd, whose aim is to deliver a range of services covering safety, people solutions, training and community engagement throughout the sector. To this end, the company has focused on creating a course catalogue that includes; CITB, Rail Apprenticeships, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Training, Highfield qualifications up to level 5, Mental Health Training, NPTC (Rail Specific), Health and Safety, National Skills Academy (Network Rail approved) competency training and assessments, for which the company has achieved a Gold Standard.

Commenting about the move, Richard Toy, CEO of Auctus Management Group Ltd said “This move represents an exciting new development for AMG. This announcement follows a series of business highlights which include; the acquisition of Carillion Welding and saving 65 jobs, delivering the UK’s first Level 3 Trailblazer Apprenticeship Scheme, in conjunction with Colas Rail, as well as being appointed a Midland Metro Alliance partner.

We have now reached a milestone of over 100 employees and our success is testament to our commitment to investing in local talent, new state-of-the-art technology and providing our customers with one complete solution. These new offices will provide us with the space we need to accommodate our growing team of experts to better support our clients as we move to develop new partnerships within the next control period.”

Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest road safety event, organised by ‘Brake’ – the road safety charity. This week aims to inspire thousands of schools, organisations and communities to take action on road safety and promote life-saving messages.

According to ‘Brake’, five people are killed on UK roads every day, and more than 60 are seriously injured. RSS Infrastructure Ltd (RSSI), a leading supplier of infrastructure services have taken precautions to try and reduce these figures, and make the transportation of workers to the site safer.

They have become the first company in the rail sector to utilise a specialist Driver Awareness Warning System (DAWS). The warning system is a dash-mounted device, focusing on the driver’s retina, measuring their ‘blinking pattern’ sounding audible warnings if signs of drowsiness, fatigue and/or attention is diverted from the road.

As well as this all fleet vehicles have, as standard, a vehicle tracking system (VTS) as well as a dash-cam installed to protect the driver and third parties. The company then uses data captured from the VTS to identify trends that can in turn improve driving performance, through advisement and training, as well as impose additional control methods. Real-time footage is captured from the dash-cams, and becomes instantly available. The company can then assess the severity of any incident and provide instant support and assistance.

RSSI and Network Rail have also identified that there is an industry wide issue relating to passengers and drivers not using their seatbelt when in a moving vehicle. With this being said, the company are supporting Network Rail in their endeavour to raise awareness for the importance of wearing a seat belt by unveiling their new seat belt covers. The unique covers have been designed using the same high-visibility material used for Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE). The reasoning behind this is to demonstrate to the person in the vehicle that the seat belt, as with the PPE clothing, is there to help protect and save lives. Furthermore, the reflective property of the material acts as a reminder that the seatbelts have been fitted and are available for use, especially when in a low visibility environment. The vivid colour and reflective material of the seatbelt covers also acts as an advertisement to other colleagues as well as the wider public to remind them to wear their seatbelt. These covers have resulted in an increase in the level of use, consequently increasing use within the wider driving community which will inevitably lead to a reduction in injuries.

Road Safety Week is an opportunity to discuss the importance of road safety and by putting these initiatives in place, RSSI are aiming to support such charities as ‘Brake’ in reducing the number of road accidents happening every day.

For more information on Road Safety Week visit:

RSS Infrastructure Ltd (RSSI), a leading supplier of infrastructure services, and Infra Skills Ltd, the UK’s premier safety critical and non-safety critical training provider are delighted to announce they have been awarded the ‘Professional Services’ Award at the Birmingham Post Business Awards 2018.

Finalists are selected by a diverse group of experienced judges and, from that group of finalists, one winner from each category was chosen. As the sponsor for the ‘Professional Services’ category Wesleyan, a financial services firm and previous winner of ‘Company of the Year’ Award 2017, had the final judging decision and awarded this prestigious honour to RSS Infrastructure and Infra Skills.
The awards, sponsored by Champion, was held in front of 600 guests at the ICC Birmingham, celebrating business excellence and achievements across 15 different categories.

As part of the award submission process, RSSI and Infra Skills demonstrated their strengths in service excellence, business growth, innovation, technology, training and personal development.

RSSI’s were recognised for their focus on leading technological innovations, delivering increased levels of safety and productivity. These fundamental principles have led the way for a series of initiatives that include the Semi-Automatic Track Warning System, Rostering and Fatigue Monitoring and Safe Driver Control Methods.

Well-known within the industry for establishing technology which can enhance safety, productivity and efficiency, RSSI are now one of the first rail companies in the UK to develop a mobile application that allows both drivers and workers to submit Close Calls and raise any safety concerns, which are actively managed by the company’s compliance team. The application allows workers to submit vehicle inspection reports directly to the Fleet department ensuring vehicles are kept in a roadworthy and safe state. Furthermore, the application allows for the submission of site inspections and end of shift reports, which provides the company with extensive insight and means that the company can actively engage with its workforce to ensure projects are completed on time.

Infra Skills Ltd showcased their partnerships with local agencies, colleges, charities and government departments. As part of this partnership, Infra Skills Ltd is supporting black minority ethnic groups, women, ex-offenders, ex-armed forces, young people, those with disabilities and individuals struggling to find employment by reducing the number of barriers facing them whilst trying to gain employment.

Infra Skills Ltd also demonstrated their ability to deliver apprenticeship schemes on behalf of various clients. Working in collaboration with Colas Rail, they designed and delivered a bespoke apprenticeship scheme that focussed on creating a programme that provided learners with a route into the rail sector that hones their scientific, technical, engineering, mathematical and design skillsets. This was the UK’s first Level 3 Rail Apprenticeship standard, and aimed to make Rail Apprenticeships more flexible and focused on both the sectors requirements today as well as in the future by delivering courses that cover Plain Line, Signalling and Overhead Line Electrification.
Learners that join the fully funded training programme are provided with an excellent grounding on which to build their career and ultimately position themselves as ideal candidates for perspective employers. The bespoke course has been designed to meet the needs of today’s rail employers, and the success of this project has already enabled over 100 job seekers and benefits claimants to stop their dependency on benefits, and begin their journey into an exciting new career in rail.

Simon Welling, Director of Sales & Marketing with Wesleyan Bank commented on the details behind their award win: “From their submission, we could see that RSS Infrastructure Ltd and Infra Skills Ltd are committed to tackling the challenges of the future. We were particularly impressed by their people development training programme and their proactive efforts to build a diverse and skilled workforce. Their work with the armed forces and projects to get job seekers and benefit claimants into employment stood out. They demonstrate a commitment to safe working and have shown innovation in this area.”

Richard Toy, CEO of RSS Infrastructure Limited and Infra Skills Limited said: “This fantastic achievement is testament to the commitment and dedication of those working at RSSI and Infra Skills for delivering ground-breaking solutions that are helping to provide a lasting legacy which will shape the future landscape of the West Midlands. We have achieved this through a series of initiatives that focus on technology that helps to improve safety and productivity and by working closely with the local community to deliver training programmes which provide people with sustainable career paths. ”

As the number of suicides and suicide attempts on railway lines continues to increase across the UK, it seems more members of the public are stepping in to help. According to figures released by Network Rail there were 163 cases of people acting to prevent suicide on the railway between January and September this year, compared to 136 in 2017, over the same period.

The suicide rate among male labourers is three times higher than the national average for men, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. Research shows that low pay, lack of job security and long hours could be a cause of the incline. Furthermore, studies have shown that men in particular find it difficult to discuss their issues, in fear of judgement from their peers. Now more than ever it is essential that people feel safe enough to talk about their feelings within a working environment, so they can get the help and support they need.

RSS Infrastructure Ltd (RSSI), a leading supplier of infrastructure services, and Infra Skills Ltd, the UK’s premier safety critical and non-safety critical training provider, have developed a series of incentives for their Traumatic Incident Management scheme, trying tackle the increasing number of rail suicides each year.

Both RSSI and Infra Skills Ltd are committed to providing support to anyone who may have been involved in or witnessed a traumatic incident, because of the significant risk of developing a mental health condition as a result of trauma.

Plans are already underway to create a Wellbeing Network, with volunteers within the companies recently attending a Mental Health First Aid course. This course offered an in-depth introduction to the onset, nature and treatment of mental ill health. As well as providing an enhanced knowledge of the range of support, therapies and self-help strategies available. By the end of the two-day course the learners had also developed first aid skills for supporting people experiencing mental distress prior to professional involvement.

Completing the Mental Health First Aid course was the first step towards implementing a Safety Council within the companies. These ‘Wellbeing Champions’ will meet regularly to discuss initiatives, awareness and support.

The Traumatic Incident Plan is already in place, and this ensures that sufficient resources are available to all employees to raise awareness of the normal reaction to a potentially traumatic incident, and to embed principles of watchful waiting throughout the business. The support network for this incident plan will include their wellbeing champions and safety council.

Through these initiatives RSSI and Infra Skills Ltd are helping bolster the efforts that Network Rail have already achieved through their partnership with the Samaritans charity, creating the ‘Small Talk Saves Lives’ campaign. The increase of public interventions has risen by a staggering 20%, showing the huge impact this campaign, and other preventative initiatives are having within the industry.
For more information, or for a safe way to seek advice there are many helplines available.

08457 90 90 90

08457 660 163

0300 304 7000

The Poppy Appeal is an annual fundraising event launched by the Royal British Legion, remembering those who have served for our country in the Armed Forces. This year marks the end of the World War I centenary, showing gratitude to all those who served and sacrificed themselves to change our world.

Auctus Management Ltd (AMG) and its subsidiary businesses, RSS Infrastructure Ltd (RSSI) and Infra Skills Ltd are continual supporters of the Armed Forces. Being a proud Armed Forces Silver Covenant member, they show commitment to their partnership through a series of initiatives designed to attract talented personnel into both the military from within rail, light rail and construction/civil sectors as well as their ongoing charity work.

The Royal British Legion is a fantastic charity which provides support for members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families. The money donated to the Royal British Legion provides help and support to those in need within the Armed Forces community.

AMG and RSSI recently put together a team of 5 riders to take part in the ‘Pedal to Paris’ event 2018, commemorating 100 years since the end of WW1. This four-day event saw them raise over a staggering £7,700 for the British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, a huge accomplishment for the whole team.

This week is a time to show our support and respect by remembering all those who have lost their lives on active service to the crown, as well as honouring the service of the Armed Forces and Veterans.

Wear your poppy with pride.

For more information about the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal read: