Specialists in staffing and mobility for rail infrastructure projects
The global rail industry is evolving, and various social and technological factors are contributing to a new renaissance in the sector.
Consider population growth. In Australia, 24.6 million people were recorded as living in the country as of 2017. That’s expected to nearly double to 42 million by the year 2066, according to official estimates.
Population growth of this magnitude is helping to prompt a global infrastructure revolution. Effective transportation solutions need to be provided to cope with demand and better connect cities.
Consider technology, too, which is transforming traditional rail beyond recognition. Across the world, the industry is moving toward high-speed rail solutions and digitisation. The rail industry in the 21st Century is moving away from people driving trains toward driverless engines with onboard digital systems.
ETCS (European Train Control Systems) and CBTC (Computer-Based Train Controls) are the cornerstones of automated transport, and are causing infrastructure challenges across the world. Railway lines and stations need to be updated to adapt to these new trains, with the market for railway technology expected to be worth €185 billion between 2019-2021.
These issues and others need to be taken into account for companies that regularly take on rail infrastructure projects, especially when it comes to their wider engineering recruitment strategies.
HS2 will help bridge the north-south divide. 345 miles of new cross-country track is expected to bring £92 billion in user benefits and support 30,000 jobs.
More than £17 billion has been committed to the Crossrail project which will provide a 10% increase in rail capacity in central London through 42 km of new tunnels, 10 new stations and over 50 km of new track.
The Midland Main Line upgrade is the biggest round of improvements to the line since 1870, and is designed to electrify lines, upgrade stations and improve journey times.
Dubbed Australia’s biggest public transport project, the Sydney Metro will deliver 31 new metro stations and more than 66 kilometres of new metro rail across the Sydney region. The project is part of a 20-year masterplan, with $20 billion invested so far.
Inland rail is a once-in-a-generation project. A freight line connecting Melbourne and Brisbane, the wider project is made up of 13 smaller ones taking place over 1,700 km, set for completion in 2025.
Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel is a major enhancement to the region’s rail network, costing approximately $11 billion and ‘untangling’ the city loop, meaning more trains can run more regularly through Melbourne.
Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project is Queensland’s largest infrastructure project and includes 5.9 km of tunnel under the Brisbane River. The 10.2-km rail line from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills will relieve pressure on the transport network and integrates road and bus services, costing $5.4 billion.
East Link, Gothenburg-Borås and Lund-Hässleholm projects are all underway in Sweden; all part of the National Transport System Plan for 2018-2029.
The networks will be designed to better serve businesses and communities across Sweden through high-speed rail links, with the new lines providing better access to Stockholm-Gothenburg and Stockholm-Malmö.
Beginning in 2017, the East Link is the wider project’s foundation. Construction will include 160 km of new high-speed railway, 200 bridges and 20 km of tunnels, with new trains set to be operational by 2033-35.
The Hässleholm–Lund project will be essential to connecting the south of Sweden to Stockholm, and will do so via a 70 km long double-track high speed railway. The Gothenburg–Borås project will introduce a 60 km long double-track high speed railway between Stockholm and Gothenburg/Malmö; both projects will significantly reduce travel time for the country’s commuters.
Rail and transport infrastructure providers need to be wary of a global engineering shortage and adapt their hiring strategies accordingly.
There is a global shortage of engineers due to various different factors. Many older engineers are retiring across various sectors and companies are struggling to attract younger talent to fill in the gap.
The incredibly fast global adoption of the Internet of Things by many industries including rail has also caused disruption. Data and connectivity have become key skills to have, and are evolving the role of the traditional engineer.
Technical workers that can complement rail projects with unique skills such as digital infrastructure, data handling and processing, and many other disciplines are essential to the future of rail and transport.
How do you change accordingly, though? Where can you find those workers to staff your rail projects and fill those talent gaps, digital or otherwise?
Take Australasia as an example. There is a shortage of engineers in niche areas such as signalling, track, overhead wiring and line installation, and other specialist disciplines.
It can be extremely difficult to find those engineers on the continent. One solution is relocation, and attracting those workers from abroad.
The UK and India, for instance, have engineering talent available suitable for those niche roles, but problems could arise specifically relating to visas and tight immigration laws across Australasia. It’s also become harder to achieve sponsorship opportunities for workers visiting the continent.
Airswift can not only help you to overcome problems such as finding new talent from abroad and handling immigration, but also in providing solutions to help foreign workers to settle into new countries and communities.
Airswift’s global presence is key to helping our rail clients. Our access to global talent pools allows us to reach into our wider network to fill those specialist rail positions and help talent move into new international regions.
Skill transferability is also a good way to solving staffing issues in the rail sector.
We work with sectors that have a lot of overlay with rail. Energy, infrastructure, renewables, transportation and others provide cross-skill opportunities with rail. Principles surrounding regulation in those sectors are similar; they’re people-based, follow strict safety guidelines, processes and other key systems.
That means if you can’t find specialist engineers they can found, retrained and upskilled from other sectors by working with the right rail recruitment specialist. Their skills are transferrable, so we can find you new site engineers, system engineers, signalling professionals and others in areas you may not have considered before.
We’ve upskilled people with engineering experience from the energy industry, aerospace, defence, roads and more to turn them into signal supervisors, overhead linesmen and more. We find people with the right backgrounds and correct understanding of safety, processes, compliance and project management to adapt them to the rail industry.
Airswift has provided technical offerings to various technical white-collar industries for over 40 years. We’ve helped numerous rail operators find the best in engineering talent thanks to our global presence and retraining solutions.
Our rail and urban transport recruitment specialists are especially proficient in the APAC and EMEA regions; Airswift has 60 interconnected recruitment offices in multiple global regions including Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the CIS region, North and Latin America, and more, complemented by super hubs in Manchester, UK, Houston, Texas, and Singapore.
Airswift manages 7,000 contractors and has a 96% contractor satisfaction rate.
Airswift’s global team is passionate about transforming the lives of the extremely skilled workers in our global talent pools and perfecting the recruitment approach of companies in specialist sectors across the world.
Airswift’s specialist recruitment and workforce solutions experts team provide the following key services for your rail and transport projects:
Our areas of expertise are in OLE, Signalling, Permanent Way, Project Management, Project Engineering, Civils, Electrical, Risk, Safety Assurance, Systems Engineering
Airswift recruit for a wide range of rail and transport projects across the globe. These include but aren’t limited to the following: OLE, Signalling, Tunneling, Bridges, Permanent Way, Project Management, Project Engineering, Civils, Electrical, Risk, Safety Assurance, Systems Engineering.
Interested candidates can apply for vacant roles or upload their cv at https://jobs.airswift.com/