EGIP improves lives as well as Scotland’s rail links

EGIP improves lives as well as Scotland’s rail links

The Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) is a £742 million investment to upgrade key Scottish rail infrastructure.

At the same time, it is bringing new career opportunities to local people.

Chris Turner, David Aikenhead and Robert Clark are among a group of new recruits who have started new long-term careers in rail with the VGC Group on EGIP. Previously unemployed, they completed an e-learning course, a medical test, and a three-week training course which culminated in the award of the PTS (personal track safety) qualification. After completing our recruitment and selection process, their determination and hard work has paid off: they are now well established in their employment with VGC.

David Aikenhead
David Aikenhead

“I’ve been with VGC for just under two months now – l am really enjoying the track experience this far,” said David Aikenhead. “I try to gain knowledge from the more senior guys. I am looking forward to the coming year to see what 2016 has in store!”

As a major supplier of skilled trades and labour to the EGIP project, we are working with training company GP Strategies Training Limited to help previously unemployed people into a new career in rail. The programme provides a route for unemployed people to join an industry which offers tremendous opportunities for a successful career. In addition, it helps to combat the industry-wide shortage of skilled workers.

“We’re really pleased with how well David, Robert and Chris are doing, and we hope they’ll have a long and positive relationship with the VGC Group,” said Ciara Pryce, Group Services director. “We are looking forward to employing the next group of people on the course. We invite anyone who is motivated and keen to succeed to get in touch with us.”

Sean Dempsey, contracts supervisor
Sean Dempsey, labour manager

“GP Strategies Training Ltd is proud to be working closely with VGC Group to provide quality training and employment opportunities to unemployed people within the Glasgow area and surrounds,” said Graham Duffus, GP Strategies Training Ltd regional manager Scotland. “As with all new initiatives, some early teething problems have been encountered, but working with Sean Dempsey at VGC has been a pleasure. Sean’s commitment and determination to drive the joint programme forward in a positive manner has been very much appreciated.”

We have a number of teams working on EGIP. David, Robert and Chris are mainly working with teams involved in upgrading troughing for cabling and installing SPT hard stand bases.

The Edinburgh-Glasgow improvement programme (EGIP) is a £742 million investment involving 150 single track km of new electrified railway. It will modernize and upgrade key junctions and infrastructure of the Scottish rail network. It also involves electrification of the main line between Edinburgh and Glasgow and to Stirling and Dunblane.

Update: David gained his first-aider ticket and CPCS and moved on to work for VGC as a dumper driver at Glasgow airport.