Inspiring the next generation

On 13 April, over 350 Young Rail Professionals (YRP) attended this year’s annual black tie event at the Roundhouse in Derby – the World’s first and surviving railway house.  CPC was proud to have sponsored this event for our 6th consecutive year and, as always, the room was charged with a combination of youth, energy and career expectation.

With a growing membership currently exceeding 5,500 and seven regional committees, the YRP organisation is testament to what can be achieved with the right vision, leadership, drive and hard work.  The YRP committee continues to do a sterling job of progressing and responding to the inevitable needs of a growing and successful organisation. It truly applies its values to Promote, Develop and Inspire, providing a superb platform for young professionals in the rail sector to realise their career potential.

The key note speaker was John Smith, the founder of GB Rail Freight, who has enjoyed an illustrious career in the railway business for the past 40 years from joining British Rail in 1977 as a technician apprentice to CEO of Hector Rail Group. John urged the young audience to be open minded about their careers and to be open to sideways moves, such as his into rail freight. John explained that freight, compared to passenger trains, had exposed him to a variety of industry sectors including manufacturing, mining and construction.  He also highlighted the need to understand and manage technical, commercial and financial risk as a fundamental ingredient to an enjoyable and successful career. Last, but not least, when you look back over a career in rail you appreciate that it is a people business and that a rewarding career is built on solid, long lasting relationships with those who you work with at all levels.

The other main item of the annual dinner is the awards, which are as challenging as ever to judge from the abundance of submissions received across the three categories. That said the worthy winners were Dr Andy Roberts from SNC-Lavalin Rail & Transit for his exceptional mentoring; Cameron Shaw from Abellio ScotRail for Apprentice of the Year, demonstrating an inspirational drive to succeed; and the main award for Young Rail Professional of the Year went to Zak Shayler from Transport for London for his outstanding contribution to the rail industry and living all three of the YRP’s values to promote, develop and inspire.

CPC looks forward to supporting the YRP for many years to come and working closely with this year’s Chair, Michael Charteris, who I am confident will continue to drive the organisation forward.

Date: 30/04/2018
Category: Steve's Blog