RSS Infrastructure Become Newest RoSPA Member

 

 

RSS Infrastructure Ltd (RSSI) are proud to announce they are now members of The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

RoSPA, don’t believe in the phrase ‘wrong place, wrong time’.

They do believe that accidents are the biggest threat to an individual’s life, either in the workplace or day-to-day. More than 14,000 people die as a result of accidents across the UK each year, while thousands more are maimed and millions are injured. Businesses could potentially be ruined. Families devastated, and children could grow up without parents, or parents without children.

RSSI continually strive to be at the forefront of safety excellence in the infrastructure sector. Not only are RSSI the UK’s only provider of Track Warning Systems, a system that has evidently shown to be safer and more efficient than traditional methods used in the rail sector, but they are also continuously pushing the boundaries on new safety systems, methods and procedures that are being utilised by their clients.

The new membership with RoSPA will help strengthen RSSI’s mission of safety and security within the infrastructure industry.

For more information on RoSPA, please click on: https://www.rospa.com/

Auctus Management Group Shows Its Support for Mental Health Awareness Week

 

 

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year the theme is ‘Body Image’. We all have mental health, just like we do physical health, but sometimes it can be hard to know how to look after your own mental health and wellbeing. Our mental health doesn’t always stay the same and can fluctuate depending on different circumstances and lifestyle choices. This week is about being open about our Mental health, and trying to diminish the stigma that is associated with talking about our Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Auctus Management Group Ltd (AMG) and its subsidiary businesses are putting initiatives in place to try and reduce the negative impact that a working environment can have on a person. As well as ensuring their staff feel that their workplace is a safe and comfortable environment to seek out help if they need it.
There is also strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive, and addressing wellbeing at work can increase productivity by 12% according to the Mental Health Foundation. High levels of fatigue from working long hours can result in lower standards of performance and safety, as well as having an effect on the individual’s wellbeing. With this being said, RSS Infrastructure Ltd (RSSI) have a fatigue monitoring system in place which commences during the rostering process, where the in-house CRM is used to calculate the travel time to and from site, shift duration and work type. Any concerns with travel exceedance or shift duration (14 hours from door to door) are automatically flagged ensuring that workers cannot be rostered to shifts or projects unless adequate measures, such as local accommodation, are put in place to ensure that ‘Everyone [returns] home safe, everyday”.

RSSI have also taken precautions to 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 and focuses on the driver’s retina and measures their ‘blinking pattern’ sounding audible warnings if signs of drowsiness, fatigue and/or attention is diverted from the road.

As well as this AMG have encouraged a number of staff members to undertake a Mental Health First Aider training course, aiding staff with the understanding of Mental Health and wellbeing and to provide them with the knowledge and confidence to administer the first means of support to anyone suffering from mental ill health. There are now 12 ‘Wellbeing Champions’ for AMG, RSSI and INFRA Skills Ltd, who meet regularly to discuss and arrange appropriate well-being initiatives for implementation. The Champions will also help to drive the well-being message across the workforce and highlight any concerns.

Mental Health issues can range from every day worries, to life-long conditions. Support systems such as AMG’s ‘Well Being Champions’, are crucial within the workplace to aid the nationwide campaign to support those experiencing mental health issues.

For more information about Mental Health Awareness Week visit: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

EXCLUSIVE: Interview With The Force Atlantic Team Rowers

 

RSS Infrastructure Ltd previously announced that they are proud to be supporting the British Armed Forces ‘Force Atlantic’ rowing team as a ‘Gold’ sponsor for the ‘Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge’, otherwise known as the ‘World’s Toughest Row’.

The Force Atlantic team are the first official British Army team to enter the event and they have the daunting task of getting the boat safely to the other side whilst overcoming a series of obstacles including; contending with the mental anguish that the ordeal will bring as a result of the solitary lifestyle whilst on board as well as sleep deprivation, salt sores, and physical extremes inflicted by the race.

We attended the Rannoch Adventure Open Day to get an exclusive interview with the team.

 

 

– Please find the transcript of the interview taken from the video below –

 

1. What was the motivation behind your decision to take part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge?

Lt. Col Richard Hall MBE:

“The motivation behind this was that we all work at the Army Foundation College, which is a unit that really enhances and brings to life an emerging career for young people that are joining the Army.

What we are trying to do is really leverage the opportunity advantage that the Army Foundation College gives, and take on some challenge that we thought is really eye catching and cutting edge to a degree, and I think the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge represents something that is quite unique, but it is also quite accessible. You don’t need a lot of knowledge of ocean sailing or ocean rowing at all, what you need is a lot of strength, determination, resilience and mental fortitude.

This is the thing that the Army is good at, it is what we sell ourselves on, so that is why we decided to choose this challenge. Having someone like Kian, who is an 18 year old member of the team, he’s still in training right now and he’s a really important member of the crew, and I think that’s what we wanted to do is to demonstrate that young people join the Army have joined something that is expeditionary in nature, that develops them, and really as an employer, that can maximise the opportunities for everyone.”

 

2. Could you tell us how you have prepared for the event?

Captain Chris Hames:

“Yeah sure, the preparation for the whole thing from the initial phone call from Rich saying ‘do you want to do a physical challenge?’ what do you say to that, ‘yeah of course I do’, ‘Let’s row the Atlantic?’, ‘Yeah ok!’.

Initially, you think that there are a few little bits and pieces to do, but it snowballs so quickly, the general organisation for starters, it takes up a good 80% of your day at times. There is the physical challenge and the physical preparation, and there’s the mental resilience preparation, and then there is everything else, from getting the boat, getting the team together, to team dynamics and getting sponsorship, it is absolutely immense. The key things we are featuring at the moment are the physical preparation, the mental resilience preparation and actually getting out in the boat.

Physically, it’s lots of weight training, lots of ERG rowing and as soon as we get the boat in August, we are going to be out in it whenever we can, and practising the drills in the boat like; man overboard, radio drills, eating on the boat, going the toilet on the boat, literally everything we can possibly do, that is going to put us in a good state come La Gomera.

Mentally, we’ll have big group team meetings, speaking openly and honestly to each other about how we feel, what are our worries, why are we doing the event itself, everyone’s got their own personal agenda which link in with the whole team ethos, and that is where we are at, at the moment.

We can’t wait to get on the boat in August, and of course we can’t wait to hit the start line, it is getting to the stage where it has taken up so much of our day, with trying to do our day jobs as well, that let’s get on the start line and let’s have that first day when we are out to sea, and we’ve got nothing else to worry about, apart from the four of us in the boat, looking after each other, and getting across to Antigua in good order and that is where we are at really now.”

 

3. What challenges do you expect to come across whilst out at sea?

Kingsman Kian Helm:

“The main challenges will be hunger, it will be quite hard to get into the routine of eating properly and keeping hydrated throughout because we will be rowing quite a lot. Another challenge is the wildlife around us, getting used to it, and the weather, the weather will be a massive one, as well as the salt sores all over our hands and body.

There are going to be quite a lot of other challenges like sea sickness, how are we going to cope with it, the row is going to be really mentally hard for us all, and trying to keep up with each other as a team, putting up with each other. It’s going to be a really good challenge for us all I think, I’m looking forward to it.”

 

4. How will your Military background benefit you as you journey across the Atlantic?

Lt. Marc Woolacott:

“So obviously the major training is really good at exposing you to physical and mental challenges, and as you can imagine this row with definitely be a physical and mental challenge. To be honest, the physical side, being in the Army is a given, you’re expected to be physically tough, but mentally it’s very lucky that we are exposed, I say exposed but you never get comfortable dealing with stressful situations, but at least you are exposed to them, and you are able to recognise the sort of stress picking up and have sort of practised methods if you like, to deal with those.

Things like lack of sleep, and learning how you operate when you haven’t had much sleep and still know you have got a job to do, is very useful and transferable skill for sure. I am also an Army diver, which is quite useful, so every week we will have to go underneath the boat and clean it, I think that might be me, so that’s another skill that will be useful for this.”

 

5. How will the sponsorship from RSS Infrastructure benefit your cause?

Captain Alexander Walsh:

“Oh enormously, so first and foremost, it’s a competition, not only competitive in terms of survival against the ocean, but competitive against other teams who are racing against us. In order to be competitive, we need to be well funded, to get the best kit, such as Rannoch’s R45 model as well as the kit we will be eating from, sleeping in and surviving with.

Not only that, RSS Infrastructure have also offer fantastic exposure within the industry and the local area to RSSI’s operations, which will give great exposure to our charity the Army Benevolent Fund who do a fantastic job in supporting both veterans and serving soldiers from the British Army.”

 

To find out more about the Force Atlantic, please click: www.forceatlantic.com

RSS Infrastructure ‘Gold’ Sponsor The Force Atlantic Rowing Team

 

 

RSS Infrastructure Ltd have announced that this year the company is proud to be supporting the British Armed Forces ‘Force Atlantic’ rowing team as a ‘Gold’ sponsor for the ‘Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge’, otherwise known as the ‘World’s Toughest Row’.

As the premier event in the ocean rowing calendar, the ‘Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge’ brings together teams from all walks of life united by the same objective: to take on the unique challenge of crossing over 3,000 miles of treacherous ocean. Around 30 teams from across the globe will begin their journey in the village of San Sebastian in La Gomera and will finish in Antigua.

The Force Atlantic team are the first official British Army team to enter the event and they have the daunting task of getting the boat safely to the other side whilst overcoming a series of obstacles including; contending with the mental anguish that the ordeal will bring as a result of the solitary lifestyle whilst on board as well as sleep deprivation, salt sores, and physical extremes inflicted by the race.

Speaking about how the team met and their motivation for taking part, Captain Alex Walsh, Project Officer, said: “The team of four met through a mutual desire for adventure and a commitment to support the Army Foundation College. This institute has helped to transform the lives of over one-thousand 16-17 year olds who come from disruptive backgrounds; often from broken homes, failed by their schools and disengaged from training, education and employment. However, through a structured programme, which is renowned for providing the best soldier basic training system in the world, these young people are molded into leaders who ultimately help to protect and service our way of life.

Our primary aim, therefore, is to demonstrate the travel, adventure, competition and challenge opportunities that the Army lifestyle offers to young people. We are also raising money for the ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.  This incredible organisation has a vision that all soldiers, veterans and their families should have the opportunity to avoid hardship and enjoy independence and dignity. Please help us to raise money for this worthwhile cause.”

Richard Toy, CEO of RSS Infrastructure Ltd, said: “We are immensely proud of our partnership with the British Armed Forces and the ‘Force Atlantic’ team. Through this sponsorship we hope to do our part to alleviate the pressures that both those serving and ex-service experience on a daily basis. RSS Infrastructure believes that all employers should adopt a company culture that is respectful of the dedication shown by those working within the Armed Forces. 

As a forces-friendly employer we have adopted a number of policies and procedures aimed at supporting those leaving the Armed Forces and transitioning to ‘Civvy Street’. The company has also developed a bespoke training programme which is tailored to the needs of service leavers and offers an extensive array of competencies needed to operate within the infrastructure sector. This support has ultimately led to the company being awarded the silver Armed Forces Covenant award for the Employer Recognition Scheme.”

 

To find out more about the Force Atlantic, please click: www.forceatlantic.com 

RSS Infrastructure Retains 5* RISQS Rating

RSS Infrastructure (RSSI) Limited, a subsidiary of Auctus Management Group Limited, are proud to announce that it has once again retained the highest accolade of ‘five stars’ for the seventh year in a row in the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS) audit, formerly referred to as Link-up.

This award is testament to the company’s continued commitment to offering its clients technological innovations as well as developing bespoke solutions that deliver increased levels of safety and productivity.

As part of the audit the company demonstrated competency in a variety of different areas including the inclusion of the company’s new online induction portal. Part of the company’s mission is to provide an ‘incident-free workplace’ through innovative methods of enhancing workforce safety. To aid in this objective, the company has developed an interactive HSQE Induction which aims to deliver a clear and consistent message whilst providing an extensive overview of how to develop and ensure safe working practices. Through a series of learner driven exercises, which covers a variety of safety orientated topics including, but not limited to; Health, Safety and Environment, Legal Responsibility, Moral Obligations, Policies, First Aid, Fire Safety, Drugs & Alcohol, Medication, Risk Management, Management of Fatigue, Working Hours, Management of Competence, Work Safe Procedure, Accidents / Incidents / Near-Miss / Close-Call, COSHH, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Manual Handling, Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), Briefing & Communications and Network Rail – Life Saving Rules. After successful completion of the induction topics section each learner must pass an assessment before they can commence work. This ensures that learners have correctly understood the content resulting in a workforce that, at all times, embody and uphold the company’s high standards of working.

The audit also assessed the company’s ‘Fatigue Management’ procedure. High levels of fatigue can lead to reduced levels of productivity, efficiency and result in workers inadequately perceiving risk and accepting lower standards of performance and safety which can cost lives. The company’s fatigue monitoring commences during the rostering process where the in-house CRM is used to calculate the travel time to and from site, shift duration and work type. This ensures each rostered team member is matched geographically to the location of the works and has the right skillset for the task required. Any concerns with travel exceedance or shift duration are automatically flagged ensuring that workers cannot be rostered to shifts or projects unless adequate measures, such as local accommodation, are put in place to ensure that ‘Everyone [returns] home safe, everyday”.

As part of its commitment to protecting its workforce, the company demonstrated its ‘Safety Dashboard’ which demonstrated the safety statistics for the previous 12 months, which indicated that there had been one minor injury and RIDDOR event during this period. Furthermore, during the recruitment stage the existing competences of the candidates were recorded. Where there were identified gaps in competencies suitable training would then be arranged through INFRA Skills Ltd, sister company to RSSI.

Key personnel from RSSI worked in collaboration with the RISQS Auditors to ensure that the company passed with no non-conformances raised this in turn ensures customers are receiving a product/service that is delivered to an exceptional standard as well as being safe and reliable.

This customer-orientated model has been fundamental to our client’s success by providing a range of dedicated teams who are experts in their fields and provide ground-breaking solutions that allow customers to complete projects on time and to budget, resulting in an unrivalled reputation for quality, safety and reliability. This has led to the company being the preferred supplier to rail companies for both tier one and two contractors.

Richard Toy, CEO of Auctus Management Group Ltd 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 rail industry. We have achieved this through a series of initiatives that focus on technology that helps to improve safety, productivity and by designing processes and procedures that ensure workers are engaged in safe practices both on and off site.”

“The recognition that we have received for demonstrating our compliance with the Network Rail Sentinel, IMR and Safe Work Planning standards illustrates how our robust procedures ensure customers benefit from a company who is compliant with the highest of industry standards.”

Dinesh Patel Case Study

How did you find out about INFRA Skills Ltd?

Having always been fascinated by design and engineering, I attended the University of Central England to complete a degree in Industrial Design. Once I had attained my degree, I worked hard to gain my teaching qualifications and started to use my knowledge to tutor others. My career quickly progressed, and within a short period of time I was promoted to Head of Faculty within my specialism. After working in education for a number of years, I began to comprehend the unrealistic expectations that surrounded the education system, and soon decided it was time for a career change.
Around the same time, a series of events within my personal life left me experiencing severe turmoil and grief. I fell into a place of uncertainty, and subsequently started to struggle with my mental health. I needed something to focus my mind on, and decided I would search for a new career that I would both enjoy, and that would challenge. Having a design and engineering background I started to consider a career within the rail sector. I registered with the job centre and initially I was looking into engineering apprenticeships, so they advised me to attend an apprenticeship event at Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

Whilst attending the event it seemed a lot of the apprenticeship opportunities were out of my reach, with providers explaining to me that I would be deemed overqualified for an apprenticeship. Meeting Rachel Green, Business Development Manager for INFRA Skills, she discussed with me the different training opportunities they could provide. We spoke in depth about the Construction Gateway Programme, in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority, and how this would be a suitable route for me to take towards a career in rail. This 4 week fully-funded training programme, targeting the locally unemployed, seemed like a fantastic opportunity to gain qualifications and experience within both rail and construction. The prospect of employment afterwards was also enticing, and I decided to take up the opportunity to start an exciting new career.

How did you find the training with INFRA Skills?

The training took place at the INFRA Skills office based in Aston, with on-track experience at both Adderley Park and the Severn Valley Railway in Bewdley. The training of my particular cohort was conducted by both Steve Cox and Jordan May, and through their interactive teaching style they kept us all engaged throughout the programme. Both trainers were highly experienced, displaying their abundant knowledge of the rail sector, as well as being able to provide different means of learning support suitable for various individuals within a diverse group of learners.
Throughout the course we were also given the opportunity to accept shifts working for RSS Infrastructure Ltd (RSSI), making immediate use of the competencies we were completing. A couple of weeks into the programme I was offered a P-way shift in Dorridge, alongside my trainer Steve, and Brian Hopkinson, RSSI Rail Manager. I was given great feedback for my work, and throughout the duration of my course, I continued to excel in different roles working within RSSI.

Once I had completed the programme, I was immediately offered a position working within RSS Infrastructure, having proved myself to be both hard-working and reliable.

How are you finding working for RSSI?

Since joining RSSI, I have been working within various divisions including; the Track Access and Lighting division, the Arboriculture division and the Fleet division.

Having worked alongside Graham Talbot, Head of RSSI Arboriculture, he was impressed with my skillset and work ethic. He asked me to complete my Chain Saw Ticket, and to consider joining the RSSI Arboriculture division. I have already put in a number of hours towards this qualification, and I am looking forward to completing it, having another skill to add to my growing list of competencies.
The effort I put into both the training programme and any shifts alongside RSSI was clearly noted, and this in turn has supported my progression with RSSI.

What are your plans for the future?

I am really excited about the prospects of progressing within RSSI, including working my way up to become a ‘White hat’, and then hopefully becoming a team leader. As well as this, the opportunity to gain more arboriculture qualifications and work within the vegetation department also looks promising.

Long-term I have a number of options that I am considering pursuing within the industry, including applying for an apprenticeship with Colas Rail, so I can eventually become qualified to work as a Hand back Engineer or an OLEC3 Engineer. These roles particularly hold a lot of responsibility, but I know that with my dedication and attention to detail I will be able to absorb the information needed to progress to this level.
I have also recently applied to become a local councillor for the Black Country Party, and through this platform I want to become an advocate for the Railway and transport links within the area.

I am so grateful for the opportunity both INFRA Skills and RSS Infrastructure have given me. I can’t fault the training programme, especially as it is providing not only recognised qualifications, but also the prospect of employment. I am keen to say this is the best job I have ever had, and it has opened my eyes to the breadth of different roles within the industry.

Please click ‘play’ to watch Dinesh’s video testimonial

Jack Williams Case Study

What were you doing before joining RSS Infrastructure (RSSI)?

“Shortly after leaving college, I began my career within the rail sector as an Earthing Assistant for Bridgeway. I continued to work at Bridgeway for two years and then switched to the construction sector, until I went back to the rail industry as a Site Access Controller for Alstom Babcock & Costain (ABC). During my time at ABC I assisted them in their Resourcing duties, which I discovered I had a natural flair for. This started as a temporary arrangement but quickly became my official duty as it helped me fully understand the process on and off the worksite.

Overtime I was given Junior Resource responsibilities, which resulted in me becoming more client facing. This is where I met Brian Hopkinson, Rail Manager for RSSI and he suggested I would be an excellent fit for the Birmingham based Headquarters.”

What have you achieved since joining RSSI?

“I am the newest member of the Resource & Recruitment team. In the short time, I have been working for RSSI I have been given the guidance and support that I have needed for this new challenge, most notably shadowing members of the Resource & Recruitment team and getting to grips with the companies CRM and procedures.

The company has given me a number of opportunities to expand my competency level including the ability to attain my Controller of Site Safety (COSS) competence, which I achieved through INFRA Skills Ltd. I am really grateful for them putting me forward for the training and for giving me the chance to expand my competencies and qualifications.”

What are you plans for the future?

“Over the course of the year, I plan on working alongside Brian and the Resource & Recruitment team to gain valuable managerial experience and fully understand the entire rail resourcing process. Furthermore, I hope to be offered opportunities that will allow me to progress and develop my skills so I can work on large scale company projects.”

Auctus Management Group show their support for the Armed Forces Covenant.

November 11th 2018 marked the end of the centenary for World War One and with it we were reminded of the challenges that many of those who had served faced when they came home to their families, communities and began their journey into civilian life. To begin this ‘redeployment,’ the UK Government needed to implement a strategy that had to deliver on a scale that had never been seen before.

Today, men and women leaving military service have fantastic interpersonal, leadership, team working, information security, project management and decision-making skills, but are still facing significant barriers during their Military to Civilian Transition (MCT). Furthermore, ex-forces personnel can encounter issues including; stigmatised perceptions of army life or fears, develop post-service trauma, both of which could damage veteran’s prospects. These insights into the hardships that service leavers are experiencing as they transfer their leadership and management skills from the military to business has been the backbone of Auctus Management Group strategy for helping those retiring from the armed forces community and reintegrate successfully into civilian life. 

As a proactive employer we identified early on the immense benefits force’s personnel bring to our organisation. All service personnel have the opportunity achieve a wide range of qualifications and have experiences that transfer easily into ‘civvy street’. From administration and catering through to technical, engineering, planning, management and leadership, there is a skill base for every employer. A common denominator that we also find is the work ethic and attitude the individuals bring is excellent and enhances the culture of the organisation and supports the mentoring of our teams.

Over the course of the last seven years, the company has pledged its support for the Armed Forces Covenant and worked alongside the Armed Forces community to develop a training programme, mentoring and work experience programme, meaningful policies that offer substantial benefits to those currently serving, raised thousands of pounds through fundraising and worked with both clients and suppliers to help them join this important cause. This support has ultimately led to the company being awarded the silver Armed Forces Covenant award for the Employer Recognition Scheme.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a commitment to providing continued support for the Armed Forces community and their families. It ensures that they are treated with fairness and appreciation within the community, economy and the society that they have bravely served. 

The covenant focuses on supporting members of the Armed Forces community in a number of areas; education and family wellbeing, starting a career, access to healthcare financial assistance and discounted services.

The Armed Forces Covenant can be signed by; businesses of all sizes, charitable organisations, local authorities, public sector organisations and single services. We would like to encourage all members of our supply chain and customers to sign the covenant to become a forces-friendly employer, and support your reservists and veterans’ employees.

There are various promises and pledges for employers to support their employees within the Armed Forces community including; promoting the fact you are an armed forces-friendly organisation, support the employment of veterans and service leaders, offer flexibility in leave for service spouses and partners, support reservist employees and offering discount to members of the Armed Forces community.

Auctus Management Group has a number of Armed Force Champions that are available to offer advice and support on how you can apply and also how best to align your business in such a way that it becomes an attractive prospect to those leaving the Armed Forces.

We are immensely proud of our partnership with the British Armed Forces and strongly believe that signing the Covenant makes a huge different to both businesses and members of the Armed Forces community.

For more information about signing the Armed Forces Covenant visit:

www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk

Or email: afcovenant@rfca.mod.uk   

Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Awards announce nominations for both RSS Infrastructure and INFRA Skills.

The Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and Awards ceremony is one of the most prestigious events in the regions ‘Business Calendar’. Taking place at the ICC, Birmingham on the 11th of April, with an expected 1,200 guests to be in attendance.

This year they have received a record-breaking number of applications to the 10 sector award categories, with 79 businesses having now been announced for the shortlist.

With the high volume of submissions, RSS Infrastructure Ltd (RSSI), a leading supplier of infrastructure services are proud to announce they have been shortlisted for the ‘Excellence in Technology & Innovation’ Award sponsored by Millennium Point. As well as this, both RSS Infrastructure and INFRA Skills Ltd, the UK’s premier safety critical and non-safety critical training provider, have also been shortlisted for the ‘Excellence in People Development’ sponsored by Wesleyan.

RSSI have been shortlisted for the ‘Excellence in Technology & Innovation’ Award 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; including the Semi-Automatic Track Warning System – increasing safety by removing the risk of human error from the announcement of trains, and their rostering and fatigue monitoring system where the in-house CRM is used to calculate the travel time to and from the site, shift duration and work type. Their award application also included their Safe Driver Control Methods, with RSSI being the first company in the rail sector to utilise a specialist Driver Awareness Warning System (DAWS) for the transportation of its workforce to site.

The submission for RSSI and INFRA Skills in the ‘Excellence in People Development’ category was based around how both companies are using their resources to invest in the future of the sector trying to tackle; the aging workforce, skills shortage, lack of diversity and resources being underutilised. The Group has a long-standing history of working in partnership with local agencies, charities, colleges and government departments. As part of this partnership, INFRA Skills 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 also offer a fully funded training programme, which has so far helped over 300 jobseekers find employment within the rail sector. This course offers them to opportunity to build their careers, by gaining valuable skills, qualifications and hand-on experience to make them desirable candidates. The success of these courses is shown through the figures, with a large number of learners gaining work with RSS Infrastructure. Expanding their workforce with trainees from INFRA Skills is one of the ways RSSI are diversifying their workforce; having an average worker age of 37 compared to the national statistic of 47, and a staggering 28% of their workforce are female compared to 9% within the UK.

As well as this, INFRA Skills have also partnered with Colas Rail to launch the Level 3 Rail Apprenticeship Standard. This programme meets the industry needs and demand, helping to ensure that the sector can remain sustainable and grow whilst inspiring a new generation of industry leaders.

Being shortlisted for not one, but two categories at this year’s Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Awards is fantastic news for both companies, especially after RSSI’s recent win at the Rail Business Awards. We wish them, and all the other companies shortlisted, the best of luck for the upcoming award ceremony. 



Andy Street supports Auctus Management Group in their mission to increase skills & employment within the West Midlands.


The UK is currently in a period of immense uncertainty due to Brexit and a number of high-profile companies announcing that they will be either moving their manufacturing plants overseas or reducing the size of their operations, resulting in a large number of redundancies. Moreover, in order for the transport and construction sectors to deliver on over £60 billion pounds worth of key investment programmes over the course of the next 10 years, including HS2, extensions to the West Midlands Metro and Commonwealth Games, an urgent strategy is needed to prevent skills shortages and an aging workforce from delaying delivery as these schemes will put increasing demand and pressure on the limited workforce currently available, many of whom are due to retire soon, potentially leading to stagnated industry growth and hampering the UK’s competitive position after Brexit on the global stage.

The skills shortage is partly due to the reduction of engineering functions and complex projects which are using new technologies and processes which require skills and experience which is often in short supply. There is no easy short-term solution, but in the long term the key issue that needs to be addressed is the sectors poor image due to a lack diversity and investment in workforce welfare. Furthermore, young people moving through the education system are currently not encouraged to follow vocational routes that historically supplied the young engineering talent, resulting in the government reaffirming its commitment to new T-levels and apprenticeships.
Auctus Management Group (AMG) Ltd, and its subsidiary companies RSS Infrastructure (RSSI) Ltd and INFRA Skills Ltd, has won a number of accolades for its long-standing history of working to improve working conditions and reducing the skills shortage through its partnerships with local agencies, colleges, charities and government departments to help those with disabilities and individuals struggling to find employment by reducing the number of barriers facing them whilst trying to gain employment. Moreover, the company has been assisting those that have recently been made redundant and supporting members of the Armed Forces community by equipping them with both the skills and knowledge required to work within the infrastructure sector as well as how to conduct themselves safely when onsite, which in turn, is helping to reduce the skills shortage.

The company has also developed the UK’s first level 3 in Rail Apprenticeship Standard, in conjunction with Colas Rail. This bespoke apprenticeship provides young learners with a route into the rail sector and that hones their scientific, technical, engineering, mathematical and design skillsets. The Rail Apprenticeships have been designed to be flexible and focussed on both the sectors requirements today as well as in the future by delivering courses that cover Plain Line, Signalling, Rolling Stock and Overhead Line Electrification.
The success of these programmes is testament to the quality of courses and services that the organisation provides and has meant that the organisation has needed to relocate to new 10,000 SQ ft premises in the heart of the West Midlands at The Tech Block, Gee Business Centre, Holborn Hill, Aston, Birmingham, B7 5JR. On the 7th February 2018 the company held an open day where visitors could discover first-hand how RSSI is helping to ensure these key infrastructure projects are delivered safely whilst ensuring high levels of efficiency and productivity. This core principle has 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 decision to remain in the area centred around the organisation’s commitment to the government’s strategy for the Midlands to become a “growth engine” through an investment in skills. INFRA Skills has been instrumental to this by delivering 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.

The company also welcomed Andy Street, Mayor for the West Midlands, to open the new premises and was also joined by a number of key partners including; the mental health charity MIND, Bodyguard Workwear, Midland Metro Alliance and TPA. The company also included demonstrations from each division and the event also coincides with ‘Time to Talk,’ an initiative designed to encourage positive mental health, and the company will be integrating a breakout area throughout the event for people to discuss any issues as well as unveiling a new interactive boardgame used to break down barriers surrounding discrimination and equality.

Commenting about the move, Richard Toy, CEO of Auctus Management Group Ltd said “This move represents an exciting new development for AMG and reinforces the fact that if the Midlands is to continue to stay a serious competitor to the other UK ‘powerhouses,’ and meet productivity and efficiency targets, then businesses in the region need to develop new innovative ways of thinking that can ensure regional and national projects are delivered on time and to budget.”

“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.”