Friday 13 Oct 2017
Network Rail strikes gold with award for work with Armed Forces community
Network Rail’s work supporting members of the Armed Forces into the workplace received the royal stamp of approval as the company was presented with an Armed Forces Covenant Gold Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) award by HRH Prince Henry of Wales.
The Gold ERS award is the Ministry of Defence’s prestigious badge of honour for organisations who have demonstrated outstanding support for the Armed Forces community.
Network Rail, alongside 32 other organisations, received its award at a presentation hosted by the Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon, on Monday 9 October at the Imperial War Museum.
On accepting the award Network Rail’s chief executive, Mark Carne said.
“Network Rail has a long tradition of supporting our armed forces and in employing ex-service personnel and reserve staff. There are plenty of similarities between Network Rail and the Armed forces - the challenges and pressures, where every day is different, requiring a professional can-do attitude and strong teamwork ethos.
“A large number of our workforce come from an Armed Forces background and have thrived in our organisation providing the skills that are critical to our Railway Upgrade Plan and helping us to build a bigger, better railway for Britain.
“We are extremely proud to have received this recognition of our work and continued commitment to support the Armed Forces community.”
Network Rail has a host of company initiatives and policies in place to encourage and support Service personnel in its workforce including a dedicated defence engagement manager, and granting additional leave to Reservists so that they can fulfil their training requirements.
Darin Gray has worked for Network Rail for 10 years and is a Principal Engineer with one of its subsidiary companies, Network Certification Body. He has also been an Army Reservist for 28 years, serving as Corps Colonel for the Royal Engineers – responsible for recruiting, training and retaining reserve officers and soldiers.
“Combining a reservist role with a civilian job is tough but highly rewarding. Striking a balance between family, work, Reserves and some down-time has been my hardest challenge but I’ve managed by prioritising things to maintain a healthy balance. Having a supportive employer has been instrumental to helping me achieve that.
“I’ve had many opportunities to travel and train alongside highly gifted people including serving in Afghanistan for six months and a year as a full time Commanding Officer. I’m hugely grateful to Network Rail for supporting me to have these experiences and then come back to my day job.”
Further information on the range of career opportunities available at Network Rail can be found at: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/careers/
Notes to editors:
- Network Rail signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2015. Since then the company has worked closely with the Ministry of Defence to transition skills into the rail industry and develop a forces-friendly environment with its workplace.
- The Employer Recognition Scheme encompasses three award tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Gold Award winning employers have to first make pledges under the Armed Forces Covenant, then demonstrate and advocate their support for the Armed Forces. So far, 79 employers have been recognised with a Gold award.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.