Following a six month Mentoring and Transferable Skills Programme, organised by WISE and Network Rail, three of the 15 external mentees awarded a place on the scheme have now taken jobs with the rail company.
Jobs were not a guaranteed part of the programme and the mentees secured their positions independently.
Deborah Raby took a job as a senior asset engineer last month, Janine Payne now works as a project management assistant, and Jacqui Kendall is working as a project manager.
The six month programme, which took place between April and September 2021, had two aims. To widen the STEM recruitment net for Network Rail and to boost the confidence of the mentees and make them aware of their transferable skills. It succeeded on both counts.
Deborah Raby – Senior Asset Engineer Network Rail on her first site visit.
Deborah [pictured], who moved from a role as a rock engineer for a platinum mine in South Africa, said:
“Both my last and my current role are geotechnical but my mentor pointed out that I have many transferable skills. These include an analytical mindset, planning, incident investigation, people and development skills, and perhaps most importantly project management.”
She explained that the most beneficial part of the programme was the change in her mindset: “My mentor helped boost my self-esteem after many years of stagnating in the same role. I’m really glad I made the move.”
Janine moved from Heineken and is now working as an assistant project manager for TRU East Network Rail. She said: Joining the TRU team from a completely different industry has been a real eye-opener. The role is quite a change but previous leadership and team management skills have given me the confidence to engage with people at a higher level.
“Personally, I found the mentoring sessions and the guest speakers the most influential and engaging element of the course. I didn’t have much experience of personal development plans before this but they were a big part of the mentoring sessions. I have taken that understanding into my new role.”
The Transferable Skills and Mentoring course involved the following key elements:
- An introductory training day with WISE including mentoring training and recommendations and an Introduction to Diversity course.
- Mentoring sessions, at least one a month.
- All participants were provided with a comprehensive mentoring handbook.
- Access to an exclusive LinkedIn networking group that provided relevant opportunities and resources.
- A Keeping in Touch session, hosted by Network Rail part way through the programme.
- Evaluation at the beginning and end of the course to assess progress.
- A celebration event.
The programme was the result of the strategic partnership between WISE and Network Rail.
WISE would like to congratulate Deborah, Janine and Jacqui on their new roles. WISE members that are interested in learning more about this scheme should contact their relationship manager.