Armed Forces and Auctus

The British Armed Forces, with the help of Auctus Management Group limited, Rail Safety Solutions (RSS) Limited and Auctus Training Solutions limited (ATS) have delivered a joint initiative that will look to inspire a new generation of industry leaders and provide them with the essential skills required to obtain a successful career and reduce the youth unemployment figures within the West Midlands and to bolster the aging workforce which is becoming a significant problem for the Rail Industry.

On the 19th October, Auctus Management Group Limited and it’s subsidiary companies, provided both local College students and Job Seekers with a taste of the kind of occupations that they can expect if they were to start a career within the Rail Industry. Key members of the Track Warning Systems team provided first-hand knowledge on the benefits of both the Magnetic Barrier Fencing and the Automatic Track Warning system (ATWS) as well as training on how to set up the industry-leading safety technology.

The ATS Trainers and Army Lieutenants helped to encourage the learners to develop their lateral thinking, team-building as well as communication skills. In order to achieve this ATS and RSS setup a series of different tasks which asked the learners to mark the safe area on track using the Magnetic Barrier Fencing within 3 minutes by attaching the easy-to-use magnetic attachment to the web of the rail, as well as quickly dismantling the apparatus in order to hand-back possession. The second part of the task was to deploy the ATWS system so that it automatically detects on-coming trains and provides workers with sufficient time to get into the CESS (safe area).

The learners expressed how they improved a number of their personal attributes that enabled them to interact effectively and ultimately allowed them to become a more productive member of the team, thus providing them with those essential skills required for the workplace.

Furthermore, all of the participants who took part expressed an interest in joining the rail industry and potentially moving on to either start their journey through a NVQ Level 2 or 3 Rail Apprenticeship with Auctus Apprenticeship Training Agency Limited or by achieving the required qualifications, i.e. Personal Track Safety course with Track Induction, through Auctus Training Solutions Limited.

This initiative is the start of a programme that will hopefully change the landscape of the job market within the West Midlands by providing young people with oppourtunities that will shape their careers for year to come as well as to become part of one of the UK’s fastest growing industries.

For more information on Auctus Training Solutions Limited visit or for Auctus Apprenticeship Training Agency visit

For more information on Automatic Track Warning Systems click here or for Magnetic Barrier Fencing click here.

Armed Forces and Auctus

Armed Forces and Auctus

Plans to extend the Midland Metro through Birmingham city centre have reached a new milestone.


The Midland Metro Alliance has formally applied on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) for a Transport and Works Act Order to build and operate the Birmingham Eastside extension from Bull Street to Digbeth.


Once granted, the order would allow work to start on the 1.05 mile (1.7km) extension which will serve the proposed HS2 station at Curzon Street, offering connections to New Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill train stations.


Subject to any local public inquiry, work is scheduled to begin in 2019 and the line to open in 2023.


The scheme will cost £137.2 million and as well as linking all of the city centre railway stations will mean easy access to Birmingham Coach Station and to bus routes to the south east of the city centre.


Cllr Roger Lawrence, lead member for transport on WMCA, said: “The Birmingham Eastside extension will provide a direct high-quality link between the significant areas of commercial and leisure activity to the east of the city centre and the Jewellery Quarter and the Black Country.


“It will not only improve access for existing business travellers and commuters but also provide easier access to jobs for the unemployed, further encourage tourism and leisure travel.


“This will help spread economic benefits from HS2 and local developments, which will increase economic opportunities across the West Midlands.”


The route will start at the junction of Bull Street and Corporation Street and run along Lower Bull Street past the southern edge of the proposed Martineau Galleries re-development to Albert Street.


It will then cross Moor Street Queensway towards Curzon Street and continue along New Canal Street before running into Meriden Street and turning left onto Digbeth High Street.


There will be four stops on the route. A stop in Albert Street will serve the proposed Martineau Galleries Phase 2 development and the HS2 Curzon Street Station West Entrance.


A stop on New Canal Street is proposed underneath the HS2 Curzon Street station serving Eastside and the HS2 East Entrance.


The third, on Meriden Street, will serve the heart of Digbeth and the proposed development at Typhoo Wharf.


The terminus stop will be on Digbeth High Street at the junction with Milk Street, serving Birmingham Coach Station, South and City College and the Custard Factory.


Seven new trams will be bought to bolster the current fleet of 21 and provide a service running every six minutes.


The work will be carried out by the Midland Metro Alliance, a team of planning, design and construction specialists working with WMCA.


It consists of rail construction specialists Colas Rail – with Colas’ partners Colas Ltd, Barhale, Thomas Vale and Auctus Management Group – and a consortium of design experts from Egis, Tony Gee and Pell Frischmann.


Midland Metro Alliance director Alejandro Moreno said: “The development of this route will play a key part in helping to unlock the potential of the Eastside of Birmingham and will be an important part of the regeneration in this area.”


The Midland Metro runs between Birmingham’s New Street Station and Wolverhampton City Centre, serving locations such as the Jewellery Quarter, West Bromwich, Wednesbury and Bilston.


Work is now underway extending the route from New Street Station to Centenary Square, with services expected to start running in 2019.


Funding has also been earmarked for the line to go further along Broad Street, past Five Ways and on to Edgbaston by 2021.


In Wolverhampton work has begun on the city centre extension, with completion scheduled for 2019.


The route will take trams along Pipers Row, stopping directly outside the bus station before continuing on to the railway station which will also be redeveloped as part of the Wolverhampton Interchange Project.


A route linking Wednesbury to Brierley Hill is also being developed and work on this could start as early as next year.

Auctus Management Group Limited has announced that due to exponential growth new additions have been made to the team to enhance customer relations, improve productivity/efficiency and enable Auctus Training Solutions to expand its current course of operations allowing learner to benefit from excellent one-to-one support.

This month the company are proud to announce that, in addition to other key members of staff, Stephen Cox has joined Auctus Training Solutions Limited after 28 years Military Service. His time in the military gave him experience in various different roles that varied from Company Sergeant Major to Training Development Officer. The 25 years of leadership experience he has gained through his experience in logistics, facilities management and operations management makes him ideal for the position of Trainer/Assessor for Auctus Training Solutions.

Stephen’s innovative teaching style enables learners to develop the skills required to build on their current knowledge base and triumph with a competitive industry to become ambassadors for Auctus Management Group, and its subsidiary businesses and ingrain safety into everything they do.

Davie Carns joins Rail Safety Solutions Limited as the Strategic Accounts Manager. As Strategic Account Manager, he will hold overall responsibility for working alongside clients ensuring their relevant business needs are met. His extensive experience in dealing with B2B relationships will enable him to assess the client’s requirements quickly in order to maximise production and profit. The ability to build and maintain relationships is essential to this role and he will look to achieve this by delivering high standards on a consistent basis.

Lisa Cunningham joins Auctus Training Solutions Limited after an extinguished career in the Armed Forces. As part of her position as Armed forces Regimental Police Officer Lisa demonstrated an excellent aptitude for supporting personnel in developing key attributes and behaviours in order to progress within the Military. These skills provided Lisa with an excellent grounding on which she could start her new career as a Trainer/Assessor. Lisa has a wealth of experience in Rail Training and Assessing having been working within the industry since 2012. Her successful transition into Auctus Training Solutions will enable the company to expand its current course portfolio and provide learners with a more tailored solution that will meet their individual needs.

Furthermore, the company is pleased to announce that in order to improve stakeholder relations we have partnered with Talent Match to employ three apprentices Rebecca Mcewan, Steven Olatunji and Arfan Shaukat who will assist the Resourcing, Compliance and Marketing Departments with administration as well as being the first point of contact for visitors to our Birmingham office.

At Auctus we are aware of how socioeconomic factors can negatively impact on unemployment figures within a region. This ultimately, leads to bleak economic forecasts due to people not having enough disposable income to invest in commodities supplied by local high street stores.
This results in derelict buildings and an influx of pound, betting and charity shops which is not a sign of an economy doing well. The effect on the local economy is that councils will not have enough money to invest in healthcare, schools and infrastructure, which ultimately will compound the problem as businesses move out the area. Auctus Management Group have made it their mission to tackle this issue of an aging workforce and in a number of sectors youth unemployment.
The key to solving this skills crisis lies in not only increasing the amount of funding available to plug this skills gap within these industries but also in using the knowledge, experience and enthusiasm of workers currently working within the industry and using it to inspire young people to follow a path into the sector. This places the onus on businesses to provide real opportunities to the younger generation and provide them with meaningful experience that can enable them to grow and become the next generation of industry leaders. Auctus Apprentice Training Agency, a subsidiary of Auctus Management Group, over the last 2 years has been recruiting apprentices, aged 16 – 24 from the West Midlands, area to work on various big name projects such as the Network Rail High Output Track renewals, and Volker Fitzpatrick for the New Street Station gateway project. Supporting our youth development we also work closely with armed forces leaders, cross/up skilling candidates
into new sectors.

Britain’s railways now safest in Europe, but regulator highlights priorities for improvement.

The Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) annual safety report published today, welcomes the rail industry’s strong track record on improving safety and highlights the need for it to meet the challenges of growth and change. ORR is supporting the rail industry to take a more proactive approach to managing safety, predicting and preventing problems before they pose a safety risk.

ORR’s latest health and safety report combines the findings of its inspectors, who spend the majority of their time out on the rail network, a detailed analysis of statistical trends and industry capability. The report highlights that the trend in harm to passengers is down by a third in the past ten years and Britain’s railways are now regarded as the safest in Europe.

Following a decade of sustained focus on safety management and improvement, 2014 was the eighth consecutive year without any train accident-related passenger fatalities. It was also the second consecutive year with no passenger train derailments. The rail industry, informed and supported by ORR, has successfully collaborated to reduce the risk of passengers coming to harm when getting on or off a train. However, despite these successes, the latest safety data and evidence from ORR’s inspections show that there is still room for improvement in terms of working more proactively. The industry needs to predict and prevent problems, focus on worker health and integrate safety by design.

ORR’s Director of railway safety, Ian Prosser, said:
Great Britain’s railways have a strong track record on improving safety, and after a decade of investment and growth, are now statistically the safest in Europe. While this improvement is to be commended, statistics only tell part of the story, the industry cannot become complacent. ORR’s inspectors have identified that there is still room for improvement.

ORR’s evidence highlights the challenges facing the rail industry, in particular, the need to manage growth safely. Our safety inspectors report a mixed picture, with improvements at level crossings, on platform safety and asset management. However, inspectors are also seeing scope for improvement in safety risk assessments and worker health and safety.
The regulator is working with the rail industry to help it take a more proactive approach, recognising and managing safety issues before passengers or rail workers come to harm.

To see the full press notice:,-but-regulator-highlights-priorities-for-improvement.

The Report on Jobs is a monthly publication produced by Markit and sponsored by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG LLP.

The report features original survey data which provide the most up-to-date monthly picture of recruitment, employment, staff availability and employee earnings trends available.

Key points from the April survey:

Strongest increase in permanent staff appointments in eight months

Temp billings growth eases to six-month low

Acceleration of pay growth for permanent and temporary staff

Commenting on the latest survey results, Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, said:

“There has been a resurgence of recruitment into Britain’s boardrooms, with businesses poaching top talent to drive their companies forward. This surge of executive hires is a strong indication of underlying business sentiment and their ambitions for the future.

“However, while the highest paid are benefiting from the recovery, demand for permanent staff remains more muted in the manufacturing sector. This section of the market is often the first to stall in tough economic conditions and the last to recover, emphasising the divergent fortunes facing job seekers in today’s market.

“The declining pool of available labour continues to force pay up. With two in five recruiters in the UK reporting falling candidate availability, spiralling salary growth remains a concern as businesses bid against each other to secure skilled staff.”

To read the full report click here.

The Report on Jobs is a monthly publication produced by Markit and sponsored by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG LLP.

The report features original survey data which provide the most up-to-date monthly picture of recruitment, employment, staff availability and employee earnings trends available.

Key points from the May survey:

Growth of permanent placements eases, but remains marked overall

Temp billings rise at faster pace

Permanent salary growth remains strong

Commenting on the latest survey results, Bernard Brown, Partner at KPMG, said:

“The UK job market saw a slight slowdown in May, as those on boards took time to digest the election result and work out the ramifications for their business. This pause did not dampen temporary staff placements, and temp billings rose for a twenty-fifth consecutive month.

“Growth in the services sector continued to outpace that of Britain’s heavy industries, with the former seeing a significantly stronger appetite for new hires to keep up with the volume of new orders coming in. These statistics will add more weight to the fears that the economy is not rebalancing as hoped, and are a worrying reminder of the recovery’s reliance on the performance of the white collar service sector.

“While elements of the private sector are thriving, the public sector continues to suffer, with pay growth rising by just 0.2% in the last reported quarter. This stagnation is in stark contrast with the pay awards seen in Britain’s businesses, whose staff saw average rises of 2.4%, driven by the booming service sector. With the Government’s continued focus on austerity, this imbalance is unlikely to be readdressed in the near future.”

To read the full report click here

On the 28th May Auctus Management Group celebrated their third anniversary and the purchase of Rail Safety Solutions.

Since that time as a team we have turned the RSS brand around to become a recognised leader in Track Warning Systems, Magnetic Fencing and now seen as a leading supplier of safety critical labour and framework contracts With Network Rail and other major organisations. We continue to deliver exceptional levels of service and continually look to raise the bar in safety and service delivery. With the addition of Training and Apprenticeships we are building a group that can successfully support our clients across a number of different services and with planned growth and investment we will look to further enhance both what and how we delivery work today and for tomorrow.

Thankyou for your support!

This month’s Rail Connect feature’s Sean Harrison, Development Director for Rail Safety Solutions, discuss the advantages of utilising modern rail technology to increase on-site safety in order to reduce trackside casualties.
Also in this edition we offer a solution to the current skills-gap that is having a detrimental effect on the Rail Industry. Mandy Harrison, Training Academy Manager at Auctus Apprentice Training Agency, offers a solution that will help to reduce youth unemployment which, in turn, will aid businesses in increasing productivity and efficiency levels, reduce overheads and ultimately help to stimulate growth within the UK economy by generating more revenue for businesses.

Click here to find out more.

Rail Safety Solutions (RSS) has become the first company in the rail sector to utilise a specialist Driver Awareness Warning System for the transportation of its workforce to site.

The warning system is fitted in 22 specialist Mercedes Benz Vito and Citan vans which will be used to transport safety critical and contingent labour to rail engineering and construction sites across the UK. The warning system is a dash-mounted device which focuses on the driver’s retina and measures their ‘blinking pattern’ sounding audible warnings if signs of drowsiness or inattention are detected.

The move was sparked by increasing industry concerns over the transportation of contract workers to site. RSS’s own research suggested that a large number of fatal accidents occur every year whilst workers were en-route to site or returning home.

Sean Harrison, Development Director at RSS, commented: “The structure of the rail industry is that it uses large numbers of safety critical and contingent workers in maintenance and construction roles, often working shift patterns. This labour has to be bussed to site by their sponsor, with pick-ups from central locations.”

He continued: “We have a duty of care to ensure that all of our workers are transported safely and return home every night. It was clear from our own research that our responsibilities needed to extend to the vehicles we were using to transport people to site and that hire vehicles were no longer sufficient.”

Alongside the Driver Awareness Warning System, the Mercedes Benz fleet has been equipped with a market-leading armory of safety features, including electronic stability, brake assistance and flashing hazard warning lights which react automatically under emergency breaking.

RSS is part of the Auctus Management Group, which provides qualified personnel to the rail industry, along with rail specific training and apprenticeship schemes. In addition, the company also provides a number of state-of-the-art safety and track warning systems. The company was set up in 2012 with help from Finance Birmingham and now has major contracts with a number of major blue-chip companies in the rail industry, including Babcock, AmeyColas, Colas Rail and Transport for London.

Mr Harrison concluded: “The acquisition of the Mercedes Benz vans is a clear demonstration that we take our responsibility towards our workers very seriously and that safety, either on site or en-route to work is our number one priority.”