The employer's story

Network Rail is working with Transitions to assist refugee professional Engineers back into the workplace through the 12 month Development Programme returner placement scheme. Alison Thompson leads the scheme Network Rail and says “Network Rail has historically found it difficult to recruit for engineering disciplines and it’s clear that there’s a wider pool of engineering professionals that we can tap into. We started this structured programme to give candidates exposure to UK railway engineering. Vicky Johnson, from Transitions says “We’re really pleased that our partnership with Network Rail is seeing successes like Omran’s. Our aims are to assist skilled refugees back into relevant employment and help employers plug skill gaps and build diverse teams. Schemes like the Network Rail Development Programme help to achieve this by providing our refugee candidates with crucial UK orientation in their professions.”

This information is from Network Rail online magazine article (pages 12 to 15)

O. was a great asset to the team and continues to go from strength to strength

Tom Wadsworth, Senior Asset Engineer.

The candidate's story

I’m a Civil Engineer and I now work for Network Rail on a permanent contract, following a one year Transitions Returner Placement, managed with the Network Rail Development Programme team. I’m currently working towards Chartered Engineer status, working for the Buildings & Civils Asset Management Structures Team within Network Rail. During this time, I have gained a broad understanding of procedures and processes involved with the asset management of the diverse portfolio of assets. I’m trained to manage some of the network’s defects databases and oversee examinations of infrastructure, as part of delivering a safe, reliable railway.

I completed 3 years of my Degree in Syria. Then I had to leave because of the war and ended up in Cyprus, where I studied for a further 2 years and completed my Degree. Both Syrian and European Degrees are equivalent to a British Bachelor Degree. Before coming across Transitions, I was struggling to get any interviews in the UK. I had no professional network and was losing my confidence. Transitions assists employers to widen the diversity of their talent pools and assisted me to become familiar with the UK methods of hiring, including being able to describe my skills and experience using the STAR method. I wasn’t familiar either with how UK employers select people for interviews or how to succeed in an interview. Transitions brokered my introduction to and interview with Network Rail and supported me throughout the process. In collaboration with the Cardinal Hume Centre, I joined the ICE Professional Body at Graduate level. It’s the Returner Placement that enabled me to transition into a permanent engineering contract, with Network Rail.

As a professional Engineer overseas, I had no professional network and no knowledge of the UK jobs market. Now I have a permanent Assistant Asset Engineer job at Network Rail, following my returner placement.

Hired candidate