West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, joins Auctus Management Group (AMG) to open their new premises and show support for their Skills & Employment mission to address both the skills gap and skills shortages. The Mayor of the West Midlands was also joined by a number of key partners including; the mental health charity MIND, Bodyguard Workwear, Midland Metro Alliance and TPA.
Commenting about the move, Richard Toy, CEO of Auctus Management Group said
“This move represents an exciting new development for AMG and reinforces the fact that if the Midlands is to continue to stay a serious competitor to the other UK ‘powerhouses,’ and meet productivity and efficiency targets, then businesses in the region need to develop new innovative ways of thinking that can ensure regional and national projects are delivered on time and to budget.”
“We have now reached a milestone of over 100 employees and our success is testament to our commitment to investing in local talent, new state-of-the-art technology and providing our customers with one complete solution. These new offices will provide us with the space we need to accommodate our growing team of experts to better support our clients as we move to develop new partnerships within the next control period.”
Due to Brexit and a number of high-profile companies stating that they will either move their manufacturing plants overseas or reduce the size of their operations, resulting in a huge number of redundancies, the UK is currently in a moment of great uncertainty. Furthermore, in order for the transport and construction sectors to deliver on over £60 billion in key investment programmes over the next ten years, including HS2, extensions to the West Midlands Metro, and the Commonwealth Games, an urgent strategy is needed to avoid skills shortages and an ageing workforce delaying delivery, as these schemes will place increasing demand and pressure on the limited workforce currently available, many of whom are due to retire soon.
Part of the reason for the skills shortage is the reduction of engineering functions, as well as complicated projects that use new technologies and procedures that necessitate skills and experience that are often in short supply. There is no simple short-term solution, but in the long run, the sector’s poor image due to a lack of diversity and investment in workforce welfare must be addressed. Furthermore, young people progressing through the educational system are currently not encouraged to pursue vocational paths that have historically provided young engineering talent, prompting the government to restate its commitment to new T-levels and apprenticeships.
Auctus Management Group, along with its subsidiaries RSS Infrastructure and INFRA Skills, has received numerous awards for its long-standing commitment to improving working conditions and reducing the skills shortage through partnerships with local agencies, colleges, charities, and government departments to assist those with disabilities and individuals struggling to find work by reducing the number of barriers they face while looking for work.
In addition, the company has been helping people who have recently lost their jobs and members of the Armed Forces community by giving them the skills and knowledge they need to work in the infrastructure sector and how to stay safe while working on site. This, in turn, is reducing the skills shortage.
In collaboration with Colas Rail, INFRA Skills has also produced the UK’s first level 3 rail apprenticeship standard. This specialised apprenticeship allows young people to get experience in the rail industry while honing their scientific, technical, engineering, mathematics, and design skills. By offering courses in Plain Line, Signalling, Rolling Stock, and Overhead Line Electrification, the Rail Apprenticeships are designed to be adaptable and focused on both the sector’s current and future needs.
The success of these programmes is a testament to the organisation’s high-quality courses and services, and it has prompted a move to new 10,000-square-foot offices in the heart of the West Midlands at The Tech Block, Gee Business Centre, Holborn Hill, Aston, Birmingham, B7 5JR.
The company organised an open day on February 7th, 2018, where guests could see firsthand how RSSI is assisting in the safe delivery of these critical infrastructure projects while maintaining high levels of efficiency and productivity. Since the company became a subsidiary of Auctus Management Group Limited in 2012, these core principles have driven the strategic development of a service portfolio that includes overhead line electrification, vegetation management, road rail access points and level crossings, civils/construction solutions, safety-critical resource services, magnetic safety barrier fencing, protocol points boards, and signalling services.
The decision to stay in the area was based on the company’s support for the government’s plan to turn the Midlands into a “growth engine” by investing in skills. INFRA Skills has played a key role in this by providing a range of services across the sector, including safety, people solutions, training, and community engagement. To that end, the company has concentrated on developing a course catalogue that includes CITB, Rail Apprenticeships, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Training, Highfield qualifications up to level 5, Mental Health Training, NPTC (Rail Specific), Health and Safety, and National Skills Academy (Network Rail approved) competency training and assessments, for which the company has received a Gold Standard.
The event also coincides with ‘Time to Talk,’ an initiative designed to promote positive mental health, and the company will be incorporating a breakout area throughout the event for people to discuss any issues, as well as unveiling a new interactive board game used to break down barriers surrounding discrimination and equality.