Simon Pickering’s inspiring journey showcases his determination to pursue a successful career in the rail industry despite facing significant obstacles. This case study delves into Simon’s story, highlighting his commitment, resilience, and the support he received from INFRA Skills Ltd and RSSI. Discover how Simon transformed his life, reestablished his professional qualifications, and found new opportunities in the rail sector.
From Railway Engineering NVQ to Career Progression
Simon’s passion for the rail industry led him to complete a 12-week Railway Engineering NVQ Level 2 at Manchester College, laying the foundation for his career aspirations. After acquiring his PTS competency in 2008, Simon joined SkyBlue Solutions, where he demonstrated exemplary work ethic and quickly obtained additional qualifications. With the completion of his Lookout and COSS certifications, Simon became an integral part of his gang, assuming the role of second in command.
Expanding Horizons: Self-Development and Challenges
Driven by a desire for personal growth and realizing the limitations of his current position, Simon decided to broaden his horizons in 2012. He embarked on a solo career, diligently upskilling himself to become a Junior Engineer and Junior Surveyor by 2016. However, tragedy struck in 2015 when Simon’s mother passed away, causing a significant impact on his personal and professional life. Subsequently, he made regrettable choices that led to a 10-month sentence in Winson Green Prison, resulting in the loss of everything he had worked hard to achieve.
A Chance for Redemption: Reentering the Rail Industry
During his time in Winson Green, Simon attended an employment day within the prison where he connected with INFRA Skills’ Business Development Manager, Rachel Green. Recognizing Simon’s potential, Rachel urged him to reach out upon his release, offering him the possibility of rejoining the rail sector. True to her word, Rachel arranged a meeting with Rail Director Peter Thompson and Simon in July 2018 at INFRA Skills’ head office.
Rebuilding and Progressing in the Rail Industry
Impressed by Simon’s enthusiasm and determination, INFRA Skills Ltd enrolled him in a Personal Track Safety (PTS) course. Since joining RSSI (Rail Safety Solutions International), Simon has further acquired his COSS competency and now contributes to a civils gang at ABC Walsall under the guidance of Nigel Wilkes. Nigel, acting as Simon’s mentor, not only supports him professionally but also helps him navigate his personal life. Simon’s exceptional work ethic and ongoing support from RSSI and his colleagues have positioned him on a path to success, where he aims to regain his prior certifications as a Track Engineer and Track Surveyor.
Simon’s gratitude towards the opportunities he received and his determination to prove himself define his journey towards personal and professional redemption. Supported by INFRA Skills Ltd and RSSI, Simon has emerged as an inspiring example of overcoming adversity within the rail industry. His story demonstrates that one’s past mistakes do not define their future prospects. Simon’s commitment and ambition continue to drive him towards his goals, showing others that resilience and dedication can lead to remarkable achievements.