UK rail sector collaborates to promote industry employment opportunities

Posted: 2 December 2020 | | No comments yet

The Routes into Rail website will showcase sector role models, include a jobs portal and provide access to the latest news and opportunities.

Routes into Rail diverse workforce

With billions of pounds being invested in rail over the next decade, the demand for the next generation of engineers, data analysts, project managers and customer service assistants has never been greater. To highlight the wide range of exciting employment opportunities within the industry, the UK rail sector has collaborated to create a new website, Routes into Rail.  

Routes into Rail will showcase role models working in the sector to help change perceptions of what a career in rail looks like. It will also have a jobs portal with more than 1,000 vacancies from across the sector, alongside the latest news and opportunities. Whether it’s your first job or your tenth, Routes into Rail will help you find secure and rewarding options.  

Routes into Rail will support the strategic objective of increasing diversity, including the percentage of women and BAME workers within rail, particularly in engineering and technical roles. The rail sector has committed to achieving a workforce that is more representative of society. Routes into Rail will help in this respect by reaching out to all communities – in particular, to disadvantaged groups – to show that there is a career in rail for everyone.

Routes into Rail is integral to the delivery of the Rail Sector Deal plan to promote the rail sector as a great place to work, attracting talented individuals to ensure a capable and adaptable workforce, now and in the future.

The website is being co-ordinated by the National Skills Academy of Rail (NSAR) and is funded by Network Rail, HS2 Ltd, Amey, Porterbrook, the Railway Industry Association (RIA), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), VolkerWessels and the Rail Supply Group (RSG).

Comments from Routes into Rail co-ordinators, funders and supporters

UK government

The UK’s Business and Industry Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said: “I’m proud that we’ve co-sponsored the Routes into Rail website, which is just the ticket for exploring career opportunities across the sector, particularly for women and ethnic minority candidates. The UK has always been a pioneer in rail transport, so it’s essential that we continue to power ahead and ensure that our railways reflect the diversity of our brilliant country.”

Chris Heaton Harris, the UK Rail Minister, commented: “A career in the rail industry unlocks a huge range of opportunities, and the launch of Routes into Rail will help inspire the next generation. For too long, the rail industry has lacked diversity, particularly in the top roles, and this key commitment from the Rail Sector Deal will help make our railways far more representative of the society we live in.”

National Skills Academy of Rail (NSAR)

NSAR’s Chief Executive, Neil Robertson, said: “The rail industry has decided now is the time to highlight the range of diverse career opportunities it has available. Significant investment and many people retiring means there has never been a better time to join us.”

Railway Industry Association (RIA)

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Routes into Rail initiative, an essential project that will ensure that the rail industry has the skilled workforce that it needs for the future. Rail is a fantastic, exciting and innovative sector, full of opportunities for young people to develop incredible careers supporting a critical service for the UK. We look forward, on behalf of Railway Industry Association members, to working with Routes into Rail to inviting more people into this great industry.”

Network Rail

Network Rail‘s Lead Capability and Development Manager, Lydia Fairman, commented: “I am so excited to see the Routes into Rail website come to fruition. This is something that we have collectively worked hard on and championed for some time in the industry. It will be a fantastic opportunity for people to explore rail careers and learn more about our people, so that they can see just how varied careers in rail can be.”


Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook, noted: “Routes into Rail is a hugely important initiative to highlight the range of opportunities that the railway can provide. The future of rail is bright and I think that the scale of technological and digital changes ahead make the industry a really exciting and dynamic place to work. I’m particularly pleased the scheme will encourage people from disadvantaged backgrounds to consider a career in rail.”


VolkerRail‘s Managing Director, Steve Cocliff, said: “The industry is changing, driven by the need to adopt new technology and innovative ideas that, together, enable the delivery of more efficient, faster and sustainable solutions for passengers. Our sector offers an unparalleled range of career opportunities that rely on the diversity of its workforce. I strongly believe that the ‘Routes into Rail’ campaign will be key in raising our sector’s profile and in reaching a much wider, more diverse audience.”