On the Move

By J&C Team

Keep Britain going by joining the transport sector!

As more and more people travel for work, study and fun, so more investment is being made into the UK’s transport infrastructure. Twice as many journeys are being made now than in the 1970s and, in response, the government has pledged £411bn towards road and rail improvement programmes.

Rail, taxi and private hire are all sectors with rising employment, according to a recent State of the Nation report, and 30,000 new road and rail apprenticeships are to be created by 2020. We take a look at some of the job roles available.

Road worker

With big investments in roads, there will be plenty of work around for the near future. This job involves building, widening and resurfacing roads, laying pavements, filling potholes, digging trenches, marking roads and gritting them in winter.

What skills do I need? You’ll need practical skills to operate heavy machinery and be able to understand plans and technical drawings. The work involves long hours and early starts, and you’ll have to work in all weathers, so you need to be physically fit. You also need to be a team player.

How much can I earn? Salaries start at £16,000. With experience you could earn up to £40,000, which can be boosted by shift patterns and overtime.

Civil Engineer

When it comes to roads, civil engineers – known as highway engineers – work on the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the UK’s highways, bridges and tunnels.

What skills do I need? Technical skills, IT competence and the ability to deal with budgets and deadlines are ideal. A structural or civil engineering degree is desirable, although an engineering or BSc degree may suffice.

How much can I earn? The starting salary for graduates is £23,500, going up to £30,000 with experience. For members of the Institution of Civil Engineers with chartered status, the average basic salary is £49,793.

Train driver

There’s more to this job than just driving. You’ll have to keep to a strict schedule, keep passengers and cargo safe, check equipment and make sure correct protocol is followed on journeys.

What skills do I need? You don’t need any formal qualifications other than GCSEs in maths and English. However, a background in mechanics or electrical engineering would help you to understand the technical side of the job. You’ll be required to pass medical checks on your sight, colour vision and hearing, and need to prove you react quickly, calmly and safely to problems. Training takes between nine months and two years.

How much can I earn? Trainees earn £20,000 to £30,000; once qualified, you’ll earn £35,000 to £55,000. You may get free train travel.

Railway Engineer

Railway engineers are responsible for building and servicing mechanical and electrical systems on locomotives and rolling stock. You could build engines and carriages, fit out new carriages with lighting, upholstery and control panels, or repair or replace parts.

What skills do I need? You’ll need to have experience as a mechanical fitter or electrician, but it’s possible to find apprenticeships in rail transport engineering, for which you’ll need four GCSEs grade 9-4 (A* to C) in maths, English and a science. You’ll need to be good at mechanics, electrics and problem-solving, as well as having good communication skills.

How much can I earn? Salaries for railway engineers start at around £18,000, but with experience you can earn up to £30,000. You may get discounted or free rail travel, too.

At sea

This isn’t a job for the faint-hearted – coastguards are responsible for preventing the loss of life at sea by conducting search and rescue operations. You’ll start as a coastguard watch assistant, working in the operations room handling emergency calls, monitoring satellite equipment and providing weather reports. Once you become an officer, you will assist coastguard volunteers in rescue operations.

What skills do I need? English and maths GCSEs and IT skills are required for assistants; to be an officer you’ll also need plenty of seagoing experience. You’ll need to work well under pressure and be able to make sound decisions very quickly.

How much can I earn? Salaries start at £17,000 to £18,500, increasing to £24,000 if you progress to watch officer and £32,000 as watch manager.

Automotive Careers

There are a variety of roles when it comes to manufacturing cars, from design engineers, project engineers and quality analysts to production technicians and operatives on assembly lines.

If dealing with people is more up your street, you could be involved in selling vehicles or after-sales service, or in customer-facing roles such as service advisers in repair centres, workshops and dealerships, assisting motorists with scheduled and corrective maintenance, invoicing and documentation. You could also be a repairs mechanic or automotive installation technician working in centres that supply and install audio or tracking equipment and other accessories.

Brexit is affecting the industry right now but most people own at least one car, so demand will always be high.