Samuel Knight International have warned that skill shortages could compromise a new contract won by Bombardier. The deal worth €100 million (£89 million) will see the company work to power trains with lithium batteries, however Samuel Knight is advising the business to use this opportunity to attract more professionals to the skill-short rail sector.
With ministers having pledged to fully electrify the network by 2040, there’s no doubt that a larger workforce will be required. Battery powered trains will cut the reliance on fossil fuel more rapidly, and this is a fantastic opportunity to engage the eco-conscious generation and those longing to make an impact with their careers.
“It’s incredible to see rail moving away from fossil fuels, and plans being made to evolve UK tracks, however, over the last few years we have seen several companies and large-scale initiatives fail to attract enough skilled professionals to ensure projects are completed to the given timescale or even at all,” said Craig Charlton, business development manager for Rail at Samuel Knight International. “The Bombardier deal is exciting news and we must make more noise about this. The rail sector won’t acquire the workers needed unless we promote deals and strategise a plan to attract more people.”
The rail recruitment specialist emphasised that if action is not taken now to prioritise talent acquisition, the chances of drastic delays – like those to HS2 – are very high.