INFRA Skills, in partnership with RSS Infrastructure (RSSI), has been recognized with the prestigious ‘Pioneering Equality’ Award. This accolade highlights their outstanding efforts in promoting diversity, equality, and social value within the rail industry.
National Social Value Measurement Framework: A Catalyst for Change
The National Social Value Measurement Framework, also known as National TOMs, plays a crucial role in measuring and reporting social value consistently. Developed by the Social Value Portal in 2017 and endorsed by the National Social Value Taskforce, this framework establishes a vital link between an organization’s strategy, vision, and its implementation.
Journey Into Rail: Championing Sustainability and Community Engagement
INFRA Skills demonstrated excellence and innovation through their award submission, focusing on safety, sustainability, and community engagement. Their ‘Journey Into Rail’ proposal showcased sustainable recruitment initiatives aligned with the National TOMs Framework, providing evidence of their commitment to supporting the Welsh Government.
Empowering Local Communities through Funded Learning Initiatives
Through the utilization of funding streams such as the ‘Adult Education Budget,’ ‘Black Country Impact,’ and ‘Department for Work and Pensions,’ INFRA Skills has launched a fully-funded 4-week course aimed at developing skills and employment opportunities in local Wales-based communities. Over the next five years, INFRA Skills aims to deliver at least one course per month, benefitting approximately 864 new entrants.
Creating Career Pathways and Inclusivity
INFRA Skills’ bilingual training programme opens new career pathways for underrepresented groups, including women, Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic individuals, as well as those currently unemployed or classified as economically inactive. Since its inception in 2019, the programme has successfully delivered 368 new frontline staff, fostering diversity and inclusion within the workforce.
Recognized Achievements and Industry Acclaim
Vincent Hanly, one of the judges, commended the ‘Journey into Rail’ project for its remarkable accomplishments. The initiative, which upskills members of local communities through fully-funded courses in rail, construction, civils, fencing, OLE, Arboriculture, and Health & Safety competencies, has enabled RSSI/IFS to become a certified ‘Disability Confident Leader’ and receive silver certification from the ‘Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion’ (ENEI) for Talent, Inclusion, and Diversity Evaluation.
A Vision for the Future
With recent contract awards for Transport for Wales and Network Rail (Wales), the number of individuals undertaking the ‘Journey into Rail’ training is projected to grow by a minimum of 40% by 2022. The initiative has also played a pivotal role in increasing female representation within the company by 20%.