RDW2019 – Dave Massingham Case Study

 

 

What Is Your Job Role at Auctus Management Group and What Does It Entail?

“I am the EDI Project Delivery Manager for Auctus Management Group and all subsidiary businesses. My role is to train and develop internal staff to further their knowledge and understanding of inclusion in the workplace, as well as developing partnerships with other companies local and nationwide, supporting the bid writing processes, keeping the business up-to-date with any new legislations and representing the business with clients and at corporate and networking events.”

 

How Has The Organisation Progressed Since You First Joined?

“Since I joined in 2017, the company has grown quite a lot, for a start we relocated to our new Birmingham based Headquarters last year which now boasts a larger premises, better accessibility and space for new opportunities and avenues. One major difference I have noticed is that the workforce has become more diverse and always conscious of going that extra mile, which is fantastic to see.

And it is not just contact wins that has helped the company grow, the group and subsidiary businesses have won over 5 prestigious awards for their work on employee progression and safety, awards that include Network Rail’s ‘SME of The Year’, Education Award’s ‘Proactive Educational Provider of an Apprenticeship Programme’ and Rail Business Awards ‘Safety and Security Excellence’. With help of our Disability Confident and Employee Networking for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) accreditations, we as a company have become a more visible and attractive company to work for or to work alongside, which has definitely become a factor with our recent contract and award wins.”

 

How Have The Company Supported Your Plans To Embed EDI Throughout The Business?

“Equality & Diversity is driven from the top. If your CEO, Director or upper management doesn’t fully embrace the ideals and importance of EDI, then it is very hard to get the necessary changes made within the office or organisation to support that framework. Fortunately, Auctus Management Group and its subsidiary businesses RSS Infrastructure and INFRA Skills are run by very supportive and progressive minded upper management, so usually any ideas the EDI Steering Group suggest are not only welcomed, but supported fully.

 

How Does The Company Encourage Equality & Diversity In The Workplace?

“As of last year, all employees who start work for the company, whether office based, an apprentice or a contracted worker, will now undertake our new company induction that has included EDI and Mental Health awareness sections.

We introduced this procedure after presenting a half day ‘Equality & Diversity in the Workplace’ seminar/training session that all staff members including the CEO & Directors attended. These sessions were embraced by all with attendees commenting on how it has opened their eyes and possibly changed their views to the potential issues and stigma people can face in the workplace environment.”

 

What Do You Think The Benefits Are Of Having A Diverse Workforce?

“Statistics have shown that having a diverse workforce creates a more productive and happier environment, by comparing ONS data with the diversity policies of 517 UK workplaces, the statistics found that firms with the most developed diversity policies are 15 percentage points more likely to financially outperform those with less of a diversity focus. Also, the UK’s most diverse workplaces are 12 percentage points more likely to financially outperform their industry average than the least diverse firms.”

 

AMG Have Recently Become A ‘Disability Confident Leader’, What Does That Involve?

“The Disability Confident scheme supports employers to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to the workplace, and so far over 13,000 organisations have now signed up, so it proves we are all heading in the right direction when it comes to being more inclusive with our attitudes and hiring policies for all people, no matter their age, gender, nationality or in the Disability Confidents’ case; disability.

Everyone at the company has worked tirelessly at making sure our policies, processes and procedures are inclusive as can be, and that no person is overlooked or discriminated against. More than ever, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion has become increasingly important to businesses as they try to attract and retain talented people to deliver the best services for their customers, being able to achieve and demonstrate a diverse workforce makes great business and ethical sense.”

 

How Does AMG Support Staff and Visitors Who Have A Disability or Impairment?

“Our Birmingham Headquarters was originally constructed to be a fully accessible building, with clear signage, spacious access and ramps into the entrance and hearing loops installed in key areas, factors like this was high on our list when we were looking for a new building last year.

That being said, there is always room for improvement and we will make reasonable adjustments to support our ever-expanding workforce and their potential needs.”

 

What Plans Do You Have In Place For The Future, To Develop AMG’s EDI Strategy Further?

“We currently have a 3 year plan in place, in short we aim to progress and expand on our current initiatives, launch new schemes with other companies and aim to be at a stage where we can submit and win some more awards.

We know that to meet the challenges in an ever-expanding industry, and with an increasing aging workforce, the sector calls for organisations, companies and individuals who strive at bringing new and capable employees. Auctus Management Group is at the heart of this evolvement, with all Group companies determined to ensure that they build new strategies into their daily functions, where all people are treated with respect, treated equally and all have access to the same opportunities.”

RDW2019 – Jean-Paul Patrick Case Study

 

 

What were you doing before you started the training with INFRA Skills Ltd and BMET?

“I was working as a Graphics Installer for a printing company, completing installations for exhibitions and events all across the UK. The company was put under new ownership, consequently meaning that the management of the workforce changed. I soon decided that this line of work was no longer for me, and started to search for a new career.

I signed on with Handsworth Job Centre, where they told me about the construction and rail training that was available through a partnership between BMet and INFRA Skills. I had previously been interested in working within the rail industry, but at the time I didn’t feel ready to change career paths, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get my foot in the door. I attended a group information session with BMET representatives including Tony Holder, and INFRA Skills’ Business Development Manager Rachel Green. The training programme was explained to us in detail including; what the programme included, what was expected from us and what the intended outcomes were.

This session was also attended by representatives of the HM Treasury – the Governments economic and finance ministry. The HMT representatives were made up of; Beth Russel, Katharine Braddick and Phil Duffy, who came to network with other visitors and supporters of the West Midlands Combined Authority. They gave us a short introduction about who they were, and spoke us about their aim to support job seekers and help local people develop additional skills.”

 

How did you find the training programme?

“We started off the training at Erdington Skills Centre where we completed our Health and Safety Level 1 and our CSCS qualification. Tony was on-hand to assist us with any queries we had throughout this section of the training. He was extremely helpful, and it was clear that he wanted to make sure that we were getting the most out the training being provided.

Once we had completed the 3 weeks with BMET we moved onto the rail training with INFRA Skills, which took place at their office in Aston, as well as some on-site training at locations within the West Midlands. During my time with INFRA Skills’ we gained a lot of valuable qualifications including; PTS, Small Tools, OLEC1, First Aid at Work amongst many others. Jordan May conducted our training, and he made it both interesting and enjoyable. He was really down to earth, and went out of his way to help us throughout the training, as well as the revision that was involved.

I was part of a great group of people who were also taking part in the training programme, this along with the fantastic tutoring, made us all get thoroughly involved and take as much knowledge and experience from the opportunity as we could.”

 

What are you doing now?

“During the group information session, we were told we would have the opportunity to take part in a number of interviews after we had completed the training. Before I had even finished the programme, I was offered shifts with their sister company RSS Infrastructure Ltd (RSSI), which involved working in Wales on a relay shift. RSSI were extremely impressed with my work ethic and commitment to the job, and offered me more work within a gang.

The practical part of the training programme gave me a real insight into what working on the railway would be like, and I think this is one of the reasons I was so successful when I completed my first shifts with RSSI.

I have now been working with RSSI for a couple of months, and within the first 3 weeks I had already progressed from a ‘blue hat’ to a ‘white hat’. I have gained an abundance of experience, that has developed my understanding of the railway even further, and since completing the training programme I have been working on a variety of shifts across the UK.”

 

What are your plans for the future?

“RSSI have already supported me with gaining my Lookout Initial competency, and I am hoping I can continue to expand the breadth of my rail qualifications including my COSS, OLEC2 and eventually work towards gaining some Crane Controller tickets.

I am going to continue to work to the best of my ability, knowing that RSSI will support me to progress my career. I am so grateful for the opportunity given to me though the funded training programme, and think that it’s a fantastic platform for those seeking employment to gain stable employment.”

RDW2019 – Jane Stringer, Business Development Officer At Enable Case Study

 

 

What is Enable, and what is your role there?

“Enable is a ‘Supported Employment Service’ aiding people with learning disabilities to find paid employment. I am a Business Development Officer (BDO) for Enable and it is my role to source potential employment for our candidates. We supply a job coach for those seeking employment, acting as a point of contact during the interview process, as well as being able to provide advice and support throughout their new job role.”

 

How were you introduced to Auctus Management Group Ltd (AMG)?  

“We had an initial meeting set up with Rose Rees, Head of Engagement and Skills, who discussed cleaning positions that were currently available at the Bilston Road Site for the Midland Metro Alliance. The process was extremely quick, and the interviews resulted in 2 Enable candidates being posted at the Bilston Road Depot.”

 

How have you found the service?

“We have found the service amazing; they have been able to facilitate everything we required and dealt with our needs quickly, efficiently and professionally. I can’t praise them enough for how they have supported us, to get our clients into the workplace.”

 

What have the outcomes been for the workers?

“We initially started with 2 cleaners, and it soon became apparent that to facilitate the volume of traffic coming through the site, we needed more hours. Following this, another 2 cleaning staff from Enable, were recruited for afternoon shifts, and a further 2 were selected for the weekend positions. We have now got 6 staff working on the site 7 days a week, and it’s running very smoothly.”

 


 

 

Established in 1994 as a specialist mental health employment service, Enable has since expanded to include employment services for all disability groups. Our highly experienced Employment Officers support and advise people with disabilities or mental health needs to find work suited to their interests and skills. This allows us to assist people in their efforts to achieve sustainable employment in mainstream competitive jobs.

To find out more, please visit their website: https://www.enableservices.co.uk/

RDW2019 – Shaunna O’Reilly Case Study

 

 

What were you doing before joining RSS Infrastructure?

“I was working in construction, when I saw people working in the rail industry from afar. I quickly became interested in this route of employment, but was unsure of how to delve into this line of work. Luckily, I had a contact who had gone through training with INFRA Skills, and they pointed me in the right direction.”

 

What have you achieved since joining RSS Infrastructure?

“Since working with RSS Infrastructure I have never looked back, having partaken in various training courses to expand my qualifications and skills. Although I did my apprenticeship externally, I repeated my Personal Track Safety (PTS) competency with INFRA Skills. Since then I have taken part in numerous courses to advance my skills even further including; lookout, Points Operator (PO), Level Crossing Attendant (LXA), Safe Work Leader 1 (SWL1) and my Controller of Site Safety (COSS) competency.”

 

How have RSS Infrastructure supported you?

“I have been diagnosed with dyslexia and also Asperger’s, this didn’t faze the training staff who were more than willing to assist me with any extra help or support. This meant assistance with reading, as well as general support and advice from the staff, even after I had completed training.
I really enjoy working in the industry because of the versatility of the people you come across, no two people being the same. I would love to see more women working in the rail industry and it’s great to see RSSI trying to achieve this.

My dedication and work ethic have aided me to progress within the industry, being approached by the RSSI Track Warning System (TWS) department, the UK’s sole provider of Track Warning Systems to join their team. This was a fantastic opportunity I couldn’t pass up on and having now completed my training, I am really looking forward to continue down this new career path.”

 

What are you plans for the future?

“I am currently qualified as a COSS, Machine Controller Slinger and a Crane Controller and now I am planning to complete my training to become an Engineering Supervisor. To do so, I hope to gain the best understanding possible of the areas I would be overseeing in this role, and plan to undertake more training, gaining valuable knowledge which will help me in the future.

Since completing my training with TWS I have been working on various shifts, building up my knowledge in this area. Since joining them I have really enjoyed the new challenge, and I am planning to upskill myself even further so I can continue to progress within this department.”

Auctus Management Group Achieve Disability Confident Leader

 

 

The Disability Confident initiative is a Government scheme created by Department for Work & Pensions that supports employers around the UK, making the most of the talents disabled people can bring to the workplace.

Auctus Management Group Ltd and its subsidiary businesses, RSS Infrastructure Ltd and INFRA Skills Ltd are proud to announce they have been awarded the Level 3: ‘Disability Confident Leader’ status, the highest and most prestigious level a Disability Confident member can achieve. Through the companies’ tireless efforts since becoming a ‘Disability Confident Committed’ organisation in 2015, they quickly gained recognition and praise in the infrastructure sector for their bespoke Disability Confident training, which is a mandatory seminar offered to all new employees, Apprentices and contract workers during their induction process.

Throughout the years, the company has strived to support and work closely with local organisations to offer work experience positions within the organisation. Due to the safety critical nature of the infrastructure sector, people with disabilities are often deterred from applying for new opportunities, or do not receive the appropriate feedback and guidance from companies. Auctus Management Group however are extremely vocal when advertising said opportunities, and make it clear when roles are not site based, and how people with disabilities will be given appropriate company support if they are successful.

Auctus Management Group had undertaken the self-assessment process and was recognised as a Disability Confident employer in 2015. The company already benefited from being able to draw from the widest possible pool of talent, and had secured, retained and developed disabled staff who are skilled, loyal and hard-working. By stepping up to being a Disability Confident Leader, their business gains recognition from; disabled staff in the company, disabled people outside their company, other businesses, their customers and the wider community.

 

 

Dave Massingham, EDI Project Delivery Manager was delighted with the accreditation and commented:

“We are proud to become a Disability Confident Leader, everyone at the company has worked tirelessly at making sure our policies, processes and procedures are inclusive as can be, and that no person is overlooked or discriminated against. More than ever, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion has become increasingly important to businesses as they try to attract and retain talented people to deliver the best services for their customers, being able to achieve and demonstrate a diverse workforce makes great business and ethical sense.”

To meet the challenges in an ever-expanding industry, and with an increasing aging workforce, the sector calls for organisations, companies and individuals who strive at bringing new and capable employees. Auctus Management Group is at the heart of this evolvement, with all Group companies determined to ensure that they build new strategies into their daily functions, where all people are treated with respect, treated equally and all have access to the same opportunities.

 

For more information on Disability Confident, or how your business or organisation can become a member, visit their website on: https://www.disabilityconfident.campaign.gov.uk/

Brian Hopkinson Case Study

What were you doing before you joined RSS Infrastructure?

I was a solider in the 1st Royal Irish Inventory Regiment from 2001-2007, touring in Iraq, Northern Ireland and Botswana. When I signed off from the military I began my transition into civil life, working for Chasetown Civil Engineering for 4 years.

After deciding on a career in rail, I undertook my Personal Track Safety training, and it has now been 5 years since I joined RSSI. I completed my IWA qualification and then went on to do my COSS training. I became a TCM with a gang of 9 at high output for around 2 years, progressing on to becoming the Works Manager for the last 3 months of the project. I moved onto Gwep, where I worked as a COSS for around a year, finally going on to become a PC Supervisor at ABC Walsall.

How have RSSI supported you?

In February last year I was offered the position of Rail Accounts Manager, where I have been ever since. RSS Infrastructure have provided me with an opportunity to advance my career, not only with the training provided whilst working on the tracks, but by also giving me the chance to succeed within an office environment, which is an undoubtably different role.

What are the next steps for you?

I am proud of my career progression and I hope to carry on advancing within the company, knowing that RSSI will support me all the way.

Aporosa Bolatabanivau Case Study

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

My 10-year career in the British Armed Forces as a Royal Engineer included 5 years in Maidstone as part of the 36 Engineers regiment as well as an additional 5 years at Wimbish in the 33EOD regiment. Joining the military gave me the opportunity to explore and discover a variety of different cultures and countries around the world including; two tours in Afghanistan as well as Northern Ireland, Canada, Belize in South America and Cyprus.

In 2013, I decided to take those skills that I had learnt within the armed forces, such as adaptability, safety consciousness, determination and pride in my work, and begin my journey into the rail sector, where I initially started working on P-WAY and in railway construction. In 2017 I successfully completed the OLEC2 qualification but was not able to fully utilise those skills I had learnt until joining RSS Infrastructure in 2018.

How has RSSI supported your development?

Joining RSSI has already opened the door to new and fantastic opportunities within the RSSI OLE division where I continue to be an instrumental part of the Great Western Electrification Programme, where I am able to utilise my OLEC 2 qualification for the creation of new OLE structures. I have also worked with the Track Access team helping clients to increase productivity and provide safe access for road rail vehicles through the installation of Road Rail Access Points in Wembley.

What is the best part of your job?

The OLE department continues to also work alongside myself to fully realise my vision through additional OLEC learning, which gave me an in-depth overview of AC and DC systems, Main Parts Steel, and Small Parts Steel (SPS) across both OLEMI and newer Series 1 and 2 systems. Through a tailored career progression programme designed by Senior Management, I have recently undertaken the Controller of Site Safety (COSS) certification course with INFRA Skills, fully funded by the organisation

What are the next steps for you?

The company’s highly skilled arborists were able to complete the works on schedule within the agreed timeframe of 3 days. The teams extensive experience in delivering this type of works helped to provide the client with a solution that met both their budgetary requirements as well as focusing on the key safety elements needed to ensure that the entire workforce was protected at all times. The quick turnaround also reduced the amount of site disruption and increased client productivity allowing for a speedy delivery of the regeneration project for Wednesbury to Brierly Hill extension.

Shaunna O’Reilly Case Study

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

I was working in construction, when I saw people working in the rail industry from afar. I quickly became interested in this route of employment, but was unsure of how to delve into this line of work. Luckily, I had a contact who had gone through training with Infra Skills, and they pointed me in the right direction.

What have you achieved since joining RSSI?

Since working with RSSI I have never looked back, having partaken in various training courses to expand my qualifications and skills. Although I did my apprenticeship externally, I repeated my PTS with Infra Skills. Since then I have taken part in numerous courses to advance my skills even further including; lookout, Points Operator, LXA, safe works leader and a COSS course.
I am currently working on the Gwep Project, supervising the de-veg team for the next 10 weeks.

How have RSSI supported you?

I have been diagnosed with dyslexia and also Asperger’s, this didn’t faze the training staff who were more than willing to assist me with any extra help or support. This meant assistance with reading, as well as general support and advice from the staff, even after I had completed training.

I really enjoy working in the industry because of the versatility of the people you come across, no two people being the same. I would love to see more women working in the rail industry and it’s great to see RSSI trying to achieve this.

What are you plans for the future?

I am currently qualified as a COSS, Machine Controller Slinger and a Crane Controller and now I am planning to complete my training to become an Engineering Supervisor. To do so, I hope to gain the best understanding possible of the areas I would be overseeing in this role, and plan to undertake more training, gaining valuable knowledge which will help me in the future.

Jodie Blewitt Case Study

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

Leaving school, I found myself working in the service industry in a fast food restaurant. Knowing that this wasn’t a career I saw progressing, my step-father Dave McDonough who is Training Manager for Infra Skills, told me about the opportunities available at RSS I. In 2014 I started training through Infra Skills, and went on to work for RSS where I am still today. Since joining RSSI have gained a number of qualifications including; Lookout, COSS, Small Tools, ATWS and Zollner.

How have RSSI supported you?

RSSI is a great company, and have always looked after me. They appreciate that I want to constantly upskill myself, and support me in gaining additional tickets, even recommending specific training courses they think would be beneficial to me.

I have always been looked after, both on and off the track. The training provided through Infra Skills is always informative and extremely beneficial, as well as being an experience I look forward to.

What are you plans for the future?

I am currently interested in the partnership between RSSI and Speedy Hire, and their opportunity to train on machinery such as the cembre and robel. I am keen to gain as many tickets as I can, because the more qualified I become, the more of a desirable candidate I will be.

I really enjoy working in rail, and it would be great to see more women joining the rail sector, as it is such a male dominated place. For me it is all about constantly advancing within my career, and not coming across many women in my line of work, I am aiming to become the first woman ES. I want to prove that women are just as capable as men, and that we do have a place in this industry, maybe even encouraging more women to do the same.