Wednesday 10 Jun 2009


Region & Route:
Southern: Wessex
| Southern

Network Rail has been recognised as amongst the best in class in corporate citizenship as it beat off dozens of other companies to secure two top business awards. It was praised for its advanced apprenticeship scheme, during which students study at Europe’s largest specialist engineering training centre at HMS Sultan, Gosport.

Network Rail’s dedication to investment in its people helped secure the Big Tick award for talent. As one of the biggest investors in vocational training and development in Britain, Network Rail recognises the importance of investing in the company’s future by nurturing new and existing talent. Specialist vocational training centres provide Network Rail staff with a dedicated base to learn new techniques and update existing skills, playing a pivotal role in the leadership and talent development of Network Rail people.

The award winning advanced apprenticeship scheme which combines personal development with technical training has trained over 200 apprentices over the last year and will train 1,200 additional apprentices in the next five years. In 2009 the company will spend more than £30 million on vocational training and is set to take on 280 graduate recruits, about double last years intake.

The Business in the Community “Big Tick” is an industry recognised award presented to companies able to demonstrate significant impact and high quality management of their responsible business practices and which can show a positive impact both on society and on the business. Owing to its continued commitment to corporate responsibility Network Rail has been awarded two Big Ticks for excellent work within the talent and community safety sector.

With a national community safety programme and dedicated team of community safety managers, Network Rail has achieved great success nationwide and within local communities to raise safety awareness and ultimately reduce the number of incidents of crime and vandalism on the railway. This has been recognised with the award of the Big Tick award for community safety.

Network Rail’s work in this area has gone from strength to strength over the last three years after launching its No Messin’ campaign. By engaging with local communities to tackle issues around railway crime and through the development of new sport and activity-based community clubs, Network Rail has achieved success in bringing down railway crime with figures dropping by 45%*.

The company’s Big Tick achievements feature in today’s Financial Times Responsible Business supplement which also lists Network Rail’s attainment of a silver award in the Business in the Community corporate responsibility index, a step up from last year’s bronze award.

Iain Coucher, chief executive, Network Rail said: “Winning the Big Ticks and the silver index award is an excellent achievement of which we are all proud. As a company we believe in investing in our people. Over the last year our commitment to both our employees’ futures and the success of the community safety campaign has proven to be fruitful, achieving great results. Winning these awards underline our commitment to our people and being a good corporate citizen.”

Stephen Howard, chief executive, Business in the Community said: “I congratulate Network Rail on achieving silver in the 2008 Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility Index. At a time when trust and confidence in businesses is at an all time low, it is examples like this that will help to demonstrate that some businesses are taking the responsibility they have towards their people and the planet seriously and that it makes business sense.”

Notes to editors

* Network Rail has achieved success in bringing down railway crime with figures dropping by 45% (2007 – 2008). The Big Tick for Community Safety will be presented at BitC North West awards celebration event at The Monastery Manchester on 11 June. The Big Tick for Talent will be presented at BitC London awards celebration event at Whitechapel gallery, London on 22 June. Network Rail has also been short listed for Awards of Excellence in both talent and community safety. The winners for these awards will be announced on 6th July following an awards ceremony at St. James Palace. APPRENTICESHIP SCHEME The advanced apprenticeship scheme was launched in 2005. Around 240 first year students undertake the course at HMS Sultan in Gosport. Network Rail has an annual budget of £23million allocated towards vocational training. Our advanced apprenticeship scheme is a three-year programme that equips aspiring engineers with the skills and experience to become a maintenance engineering technician. By the end of the three years, they will have the qualifications (NVQ and BTec) and skills to develop a long-term career with Network Rail. TRAINING CENTRES HMS Sultan, Gosport is home to Network Rail’s award winning advanced apprenticeship scheme. The centre which is shared with the Royal Navy is Europe’s largest engineering training facility boasting fully refurbished accommodation, a swimming pool, football, tennis and squash amenities and much, much more. Almost £2 million was invested in completely refurbishing living accommodation, common rooms, kitchens and classrooms within the complex. Network Rail’s £4m Larbert training centre was officially opened on June 24 2008. The centre provides Network Rail’s Scottish frontline engineering and maintenance staff with a dedicated base to learn new techniques and update existing skills. Up to 100 workers at a time can be trained at the centre and its facilities include an indoor, full-size 60m replica track layout with signals, as well as a 150m outdoor track, classrooms and dedicated teaching staff. The Paddock Wood centre opened on 8 June 2007. The centre can train up to 90 rail maintenance staff at any one time. Trainers hold practical workshops teaching skills such as soldering, cable joining, signalling and general maintenance. In addition to classroom-based learning are indoor and outdoor training areas with built-in rail tracks where students can put theory into practice, for example, by taking apart and reassembling points motors. The centre also has an IT training studio. The Westwood leadership development centre in Coventry was purchased in 2005. The centre delivers a programme of professional skills development, including accredited leadership and management courses for Network Rail people. The purpose-built, fully residential training and conference centre has around 150 study-bedrooms and 40 meeting / conferences rooms. NO MESSIN' CAMPAIGN The award winning No Messin' campaign which is fronted by boxing champion Amir Khan and run by Network Rail, is aimed at tackling crime and saving lives on the railway. It gives young people the opportunity to try something different and maybe find a new interest - away from messing around on or near railway lines. Between 2007/2008 we have seen a 45% reduction in incidents in our top 10 communities and 30% in our top 100 overall. This represents a reduction in costs of over £1.1 million and a reduction in delays to passengers and freight users of 289 hours. WHAT IS A BIG TICK? The Big Tick is awarded to businesses able to demonstrate significant impact and high quality management of their responsible business practices and who can show a positive impact both on society and on the business. The decision to award the Big Tick was made by a panel of independent, experienced practitioners, and as such is both hard won (only 39% of applicants in 2008 were successful), and highly prestigious. WHAT ARE THE AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE? These are the UK’s most influential, independent, peer assessed corporate responsibility awards. Run in association with the Financial Times, the awards recognise and celebrate those companies who have shown innovation, creativity and a sustained commitment to corporate responsibility. ABOUT BUSINESS IN THE COMMUNITY We inspire, engage, support and challenge companies on responsible business, working through four areas: marketplace, workplace, environment and community. With more than 850 companies in membership, we represent 1 in 5 of the UK private sector workforce and convene a network of global partners. Our members commit to continually improve the way they operate with a specific focus on the need to manage resources wisely – be that people or our planet. Business in the Community is proud to have The Co-operative Financial Services as its Company of the Year 2008. www.bitc.org.uk

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - South East route
020 3357 7969

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk