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help required in understanding my next immediate step
#11
Thanks Jerry for your input.

I was thinking from my personal point of view and what i have described above was how i felt when i looked into switching to 'signalliing design' role.

You see, at a starting level, you have a position "assistant signalling designer'. You can only apply for this role if you fulfill following two requirements (quoted from one of the company's recent vacancy ad)

• Appropriate membership of IRSE
• Assistant Designer Licence


I have been working on signalling-related stuff for last two years but it is not the only day-to-day work that i do (i.e my work is more diverse) so if you put yourself in my shoes, you will find yourself in a weird position...

a) you know about signalling stuff but not enough to clear the exams
b) you can't prove your competency in areas expected of you by IRSE body because you only get to deal with one aspect of signalling design.

I thought if i could take exams and learn about other aspects of signalling design it will be enough for me to apply for jobs under "assistant signalling designer" but the requirement of this job is already far too high for someone like me.

That is why i think that people at IRSE need to understand the realities on the ground and appreciate the fact that not many employers will be sympathetic, in this economic climate. IRSE members' club should be making it easier for people to switch into signalling discipline by introducing categories of license which proves to prospective employers that the candidate is willing to advance his/her career in this discipline. As things stand, it is very difficult to find 'sympathetic' employers and is ultimately creating this 'shortage' of talent.

JUst my two cents...

Regards,

(18-06-2012, 02:35 PM)Jerry1237 Wrote: arsenal49,

That is not true. You do not need to pass the exam to get a license nor do you need a license to pass the exam. They are entirely seperate.

To pass the exam, you need to show you understand the principles of telecommunications and/or signalling plus an understanding of management of these on the railway and safety. These can be learnt or experience gained from other sources but it is easier to learn these skills when it is your occupation.

The license requires evidence that you as an individual can consistantly meet a set standard. I cannot see how you would do this, or why, outside of the industry.

Finally, YOU DO NOT need a license to work in signalling. What you need is a sympathetic employer who will train you, mentor you and support you through the license process or provide suitable training to allow you to fulfil your role. There are plenty of organisation who will do this as there is a void of competent designers currently. How do you think most people started as it isn't something taught at school or college?
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#12
I think the problem you are facing is that the various clients ASK for what they IDEALLY WANT and the recruitment agencies then attempt to FIND PRECISELY THAT. Therefore if you do not precisely fit the specification, you get blocked.
Actually when I say "clients" I suppose I really mean the engineers and within "recruitment agencies" I include the Human Resources department of the client company.

You somehow need to get through to the engineers who actually know what the role is and can take a view whether you would soon pick things up to become a useful member of the team. I am afraid that the more things are procedurised, the less room there is for common sense.

I do understand the "catch 22" situation that you and others find themselves in. It isn't the IRSE's responsibility to resolve as the problem is not of their making, but I do agree that it does have a role in putting pressure on industry to respond appropriately. I do feel as years go by that the engineers have less and less power within their organisations, so the IRSE may preach to the converted and yet still not be able to achieve change. However this is not an excuse for failing to try.

Certainly if you could demonstrate that you had done what you could to educate yourself into the ways of the industry, this would be invaluable if and when you get yourself over the first hurdle of getting an interview. However realistically you wouldn't be able to get yourself to a standard to pass the IRSE Exam like that- it (quite rightly for what it is) requires a much higher level of experience and understanding than could practicably be achieved before really working in the industry.

Similarly I agree with Jerry; it is clearly completely impossible to gain any form of licence before you have done that job for real; point out that this demand is a LOGICAL NONSENSE when told that you are not suitably qualified.
To be fair, Network Rail has actually recruited in the last decade several groups of experienced engineers mid-career and run a specific "Conversion Engineers" course to introduce them to signal engineering. Check out their website to see if there is such a programme now available or even send a CV to them speculatively.

Despite the general economic situation, there doesn't seem to be a shortage of work in the industry at present. One problem though is that for companies to be competitive that they are effectively forced to sub-contract the bulk of the less skilled work to a relatively low wage economy such as India or Thailand- hence the "entry level" jobs are squeezed out from the UK. Quite where this will leave the industry in 10-15 years time is another question; I am afraid that "short-termism" has struck again.

I can only advise to be persistent.





(18-06-2012, 03:11 PM)arsenal49 Wrote: Thanks Jerry for your input.

I was thinking from my personal point of view and what i have described above was how i felt when i looked into switching to 'signalling design' role.

You see, at a starting level, you have a position "assistant signalling designer'. You can only apply for this role if you fulfill following two requirements (quoted from one of the company's recent vacancy ad)

• Appropriate membership of IRSE
• Assistant Designer Licence


I have been working on signalling-related stuff for last two years but it is not the only day-to-day work that i do (i.e my work is more diverse) so if you put yourself in my shoes, you will find yourself in a weird position...

a) you know about signalling stuff but not enough to clear the exams
b) you can't prove your competency in areas expected of you by IRSE body because you only get to deal with one aspect of signalling design.

I thought if i could take exams and learn about other aspects of signalling design it will be enough for me to apply for jobs under "assistant signalling designer" but the requirement of this job is already far too high for someone like me.

That is why i think that people at IRSE need to understand the realities on the ground and appreciate the fact that not many employers will be sympathetic, in this economic climate. IRSE members' club should be making it easier for people to switch into signalling discipline by introducing categories of license which proves to prospective employers that the candidate is willing to advance his/her career in this discipline. As things stand, it is very difficult to find 'sympathetic' employers and is ultimately creating this 'shortage' of talent.

JUst my two cents...

Regards,

(18-06-2012, 02:35 PM)Jerry1237 Wrote: arsenal49,

That is not true. You do not need to pass the exam to get a license nor do you need a license to pass the exam. They are entirely seperate.

To pass the exam, you need to show you understand the principles of telecommunications and/or signalling plus an understanding of management of these on the railway and safety. These can be learnt or experience gained from other sources but it is easier to learn these skills when it is your occupation.

The license requires evidence that you as an individual can consistantly meet a set standard. I cannot see how you would do this, or why, outside of the industry.

Finally, YOU DO NOT need a license to work in signalling. What you need is a sympathetic employer who will train you, mentor you and support you through the license process or provide suitable training to allow you to fulfil your role. There are plenty of organisation who will do this as there is a void of competent designers currently. How do you think most people started as it isn't something taught at school or college?
PJW
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#13
It makes me so cross when I hear of experiences like this. I used to have it the other way round as an employer where these so called specialist recruitment agencies know nothing about the structure or requirements of they are recruiting into and kept getting people put forward for roles just because they had a licence with no thought for what work experience they had that was relevant to the role.

If a company wants someone, I think they should be specifying what you need to achieve in terms of qualifications in a reasonable period eg "have the underpinning knowledge to achieve a design assistant licence within nine months", just the same as they should be for internal succession. Perhaps the lack of this is an indication of the fact that most of the companies have little or no commitment to long term development of people. The logical conclusion of the sort of approach you are talking about for an external advert is that someone with that will find themselves stuck at that level because how likely is the company to commit to moving you up to the next if they are not committed to make the step from nothing to the first rung on the ladder.

I also cannot understand why companies find it so hard to divorce the two issues of the IRSE setting a standard and organisations wishing to adopt that standard as a qualifying requirement. No body seriously thinks that Edexcel should be running schools nor do they specify that an employer must ask for that qualification - they set the A levels and others chose to use them as a measure. Others provide the training to meet the standard. So it is with the licensing scheme and the IRSE.

The categories are the categories that the industry has asked for. A classic on this one is the design categories where the VIEW was that the original categories did not cover some of the specialisms, so specialist categories were created as a subset, but that was seen as a problem because there were "too many" categories, so it has reverted to three - at the request of the industry, not because those on the working group did not have anything better to do.

Peter
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#14
To support the others, I will say this...

Submit your CV. Recruiters do not always understand technical requirements of a role. Experience counts for more than anything else and some symathetic employers will employ willing individuals who are keen (I know, I am one of those).
Le coureur
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