What do rail training officers do? Find out with Noel from Siemens Rail

Noel always liked the mentoring side of his role both whilst he worked in the RAF and as a rail technician. When the opportunity came to be a training officer, he jumped at the chance and hasn’t looked back since! Plotr caught up with Noel to find out more about his role as a training officer for Siemens Rail.

Tell us about your job…

I am a training officer, based at Northampton, but deliver assessments or training anywhere from Glasgow to Southampton.

There are no typical days in my job. I rarely deliver the same course more than a couple of times each year, rarely get up at the same time each day and very rarely get home at the same time.

Generally I’m physically delivering training or assessing for six hours a day but I’m required to set up my classroom/train prior to the course and put it back at the end.

This, on top of all the administrative tasks I’m required to carry out means that my working day is about eight hours. I do need to work in the evening to prepare for the next day or catch up on additional work so this means that I regularly do between 50 and 60 hours a week.

How did you get your job?

I got into Rail after spending 13 years in the RAF working as an Avionics/Electrical Technician on various aircraft and equipment types.

After five years in rail as a Technician, and enjoying the mentoring side of the role, I applied for the vacant Training Officer position that was being advertised internally. I was successful at interview and then trained as a Trainer/Assessor in my first month of being in the role.

I now have a level 4 diploma in learning and development. I could have started this role with five GCSEs grade A-C. I widened my knowledge and skills with training during employment as a trainer.

What are the best bits about your job?

One thing I love about my job is the look on the face of a candidate when they’ve just been deemed competent after a promotion/ grading assessment.

What 3 top skills or qualities are important in your job?

  1. Patience is the key quality needed for my job.
  2. Product knowledge is vital.
  3. Being able to put people at ease during assessments.

Describe the biggest challenge you’ve faced…

The most challenging aspect of my job is learning new systems to such a depth in order to then teach and assess on them at later date.

I insist on my level of understanding being good enough to answer any questions on the subject and not needing to use the “I’m not sure, but I’ll find out for you” line!

Give us your best CV/interview/job hunting tip!

Tailor every single CV to the job you are applying for. Never use a generic CV. You’ll be amazed at the number of interview offers you get that way.

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