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HR professionals continue to respond to Covid challenges Friday June 18, 2021

Recovery from the pandemic, and supporting staff with continuing testing, vaccinations and self-isolation continue to challenge HR professionals in the light rail sector.

As operators consider how and when non-operational staff should return to their offices, training, assessments and changes to procedures made necessary by Covid guidance have also been highlighted by members of the UKTram HR Group.

Held online, the latest meeting included representatives from NET, Manchester Metrolink, West Midlands Metro, Edinburgh Trams, Sheffield Supertram, Blackpool Transport and Croydon Tramlink and heard that most networks are now running a full timetable, with furloughed staff returning to work.

Recruitment was another important topic for discussion. Jamie Swift, UKTram Marketing and Commercial Manager, explained: “Many networks are now recruiting staff following the return to full services and are finding the jobs market a mixed picture.

“Whilst demand for driver vacancies seems strong, other roles such as customer services and engineering have seen a reduction in applicants.”

Training has also been adapted to address new demands placed on operators due to the pandemic. In line with Covid guidance, driver training cohorts have been reduced in numbers or trainees placed in bubbles to help deliver courses safely.

Jamie added: “The meeting provided another opportunity for HR professionals from across the sector to share best practice. This cooperation helps to ensure they continue to offer the best possible support to colleagues who have been delivering services to the public throughout these difficult and unprecedented times.”