Recruitment firm wins £150m Network Rail contract

Vital Human Resources, part of the Salford-based Morson Group, has been awarded a £150m contract to provide Network Rail labour covering a range of strategic and operational roles over the next five years.

Running until 2026, with a possible extension until 2029, Vital will supply 100% of frontline labour for the East Coast Mainline, North East, East Midlands and Wales.

Regionally, those roles will include core labour, track, civils, trackworker protection and semi-professional grades. The company will also manage all recruitment for signalling and telecommunications and electrification and plant, nationwide.

Mobilisation of the contract is already under way, with deployment starting on October 1.

Vital has pledged to leave a social legacy that spans well beyond the lifespan of the contract.

In a bid to uplift the wider rail industry, the company will channel 20% of the workforce through SME alliance partners, supporting SME businesses in the rail supply chain and communities and sponsorship interests within the region under which it will be operating.

Vital’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion was also key to its success in the tender process, with Network Rail placing trust in its proven expertise in building inclusive workforces.

Vital said it will redress the balance of labour by consciously creating a workforce that reflects the communities it serves.

Over the course of the contract, Vital will tackle the skills shortage within the rail industry by attracting and appointing BAME candidates, females, ex-offenders, entry-level talent, and other under-represented groups.

Gary Hardaker, executive director at Vital Human Resources, said: “We are proud to be awarded such a significant contract with Network Rail.

“This is a great opportunity to develop a strong and mutually beneficial working relationship at an important time in the rail industry. With this contract in place, Vital will enhance its capacity to service the full spectrum of the UK rail infrastructure.

“We hire to make an impact, and the scope of this appointment means that we can work with Network Rail strategically, putting the right people in the right places for the benefit of the organisation and those who rely upon it.”

He added: “Ultimately, we hope to support Network Rail to achieve a personnel mix that represents the world we live in, a culture where people thrive, their ambitions are nurtured, and customers reap the benefits.”