Rail recruitment firm ISS Labour is capitalising on the major investment electrifying Britain’s railways by building a specialist £4m business in just two years.
Since 2014 the company, part of the Specialist People Services (SPS) group, has been providing skilled railway engineers to undertake the specialist overhead line electrification (OLE) work on the UK’s rail network, including isolating the 25,000 Volt lines so work can be undertaken in a safe and controlled environment.
The business has grown so strongly that ISS Labour expects revenue from OLE services to reach £4m by the end SPS’s current financial year in March 2017.
As part of Network Rail’s £25bn infrastructure investment plan, large swathes of the UK’s railways are being electrified, requiring highly-skilled engineers to carry out the work. Routes being upgraded include the Great Western line, which runs from the South East to South Wales, the Midland Main Line and Preston to Blackpool.
As well as supplying OLE engineers, ISS Labour also provides staff training at its state-of-the-art site in Salford, Greater Manchester. The facility, which opened last year, includes a twin-track replica of a section of the West Coast Main Line, including flat-bottom rail, bullhead rail, third rail and wooden timbers and concrete sleepers.
Colin Kelly, OLE director at ISS Labour, said: “Our objective has been clear in that we’ve aimed to become the natural partner to the rail industry in providing specialist, highly-skilled people to help modernise the UK’s network.
“We have invested heavily in our overhead electrification offering in recent years, not least in our Salford training hub. This is now bearing fruit.
“That said, we know that being the recruitment partner of choice to the rail industry requires hard work and focus to ensure our people have the correct skillset, so anticipating where future demand will come from and staying one step ahead continues to be at the heart of what we do.”
In the year to March 2016, ISS Labour recorded total turnover of £21m. SPS acquired the business in 2013.
SPS, the diversified recruitment group that also owns the Driver Hire brand, is backed by private equity firm LDC and has annual revenues of over £120m.