Rail is one of our core sectors, so we are widely experienced when it comes to placing candidates into rail-based roles, from technicians to customer services. We are extremely proud of our industry knowledge and of all our workers which we place into great roles with our long-standing clients, and of course, all of the great work that they do whilst they're there.
One of our Senior Consultants, Ben Isaacs, spoke to Daniel Plumbota - a Customer Service Supervisor, who told us all about the great opportunities which have lead to his career in Rail.
So Daniel, as one of my most trusted workers please tell me about yourself and what brought you into the Rail industry?
I arrived in England more than six years ago and I was amazed by the railway system here. I knew that this is what I wanted to do and I started working for Railscape, as a deep clean operative in Stratford. After six months I got promoted to a General Operative, was placed in a PTS course and received my own work van. I started working on the actual track doing different jobs from litter picking, painting the yellow and white lines on platforms, station vegetation and minor engineering works like ballast work. After working here for one year, I wanted to join a more customer service-oriented job and thanks to [you], I got this opportunity on a long term contract with GTR. I still remember to this day how nervous I was on my first day of induction at Alexandra Palace, as this new role was much more different than my previous one. Even though working with customers can be thought sometimes, it is fulfilling to give them excellent service and by doing so, you can make someone’s day better.
What are your day to day duties with Fusion People on the Railways?
I currently have multiple roles within Fusion People Rail. I work as a Supervisor, Team Leader, Gate-line Assistant, Crowd Control Operative, Luggage Assistant, Train and Station Security on multiple lines such as Great Northern, Thameslink and London Overground for our clients Govia Thameslink Railway and Arriva Rail London. As a supervisor, I’m in charge of 88 people and it is my job to make sure that the client receives a top service by monitoring uniform standards, timekeeping, rules and procedures compliance, health and safety and many others. As a gate-line assistant, I discourage ticketless travel by keeping the gate-line operational for the whole duration of my shift, I offer customer information and make sure there are no faults, trips or hazards around the gate-line area. As a crowd control operative, it is my job to keep the trains moving by keeping customers behind the yellow line and managing the overcrowd efficiently, as well as offering train information and handling complaints. As a Luggage Assistant, I make sure I proactively ask customers if they need help with their luggage and depending on the customer I make conversion with them to make their journey more pleasant. As luggage assistant, I also provide useful information to customers on how to get to the airport, hotels around the area and other. As station/train security it is my duty to make sure any acts of vandalism are swiftly taken care of and discouraged by being present and visible to act as a deterrent.
What do you enjoy most about working for Fusion and in the sector?
There are a number of perks by working for Fusion People Rail such as a supportive team that always helps me if I encounter any issues at work, job security as the senior managers have been very reliable and know how to negotiate contracts, free travel on the line that I’m working, a great hourly wage and many others.
Do you believe the industry has a clear career structure which doesn’t discriminate?
I strongly believe that the rail industry does not discriminate as by looking [at] the team I work in, where the level of diversity is amazing. However, when it comes to career advancement opportunities I feel there’s still some work to be done and I would recommend using the mentoring practice for potential candidates to a role with more responsibilities.
What are the biggest changes you have seen over the years?
There have been a number of developments on the railway from the construction of Crossrail and HS2 to the upgrading of train fleets across different Train Operating Companies. On the line I’m currently working the train fleet has been completely modernized and Class 378 have been replaced with the new Siemens class 700 and 710 trains which are much more spacious, have greater acceleration and are more eco-friendly with regenerative breaks.
Of course, for the past year, the biggest change I’ve seen on the railway was the considerably reduced number of passengers due to COVID-19 virus and the use of mandatory face-coverings on transport for both travellers and staff.
Where do you see the industry post-COVID-19 that’s assuming we get some kind of vaccine (please god!)?
The railway has always been an environment that has been somewhat ‘depression safe’ and no matter what the economy after-effects of COVID-19 will be, I’m confident that I will still be in the industry. Still, even with the vaccine on the horizon, it will take some time for things to get back to normal and have the number of customers before 2020.
Do you believe Fusion are well placed to be a big part of those changes considering their footprint in the market?
Fusion People is a major company with a number of successful branches across the world, however, all big companies are feeling/will feel the impact of this pandemic. It is up to the directors and senior managers to steer this company to success and attract new employees with innovative thinking and also inspire everyone to success. I’m confident that through hard work, training and proper communication we can overcome any difficulties that may occur in the future, after all, I’m one of the people that believes this pandemic will only make us stronger in the long run.
What drives Daniel to be a part of this?
I am honoured to be a part of Fusion People Rail and I’m happy for the chance given to make a difference in the railway industry. We have a great team here that’s professional, knowledgeable and very helpful.
What is something [people in your industry/niche] owners must deal with that you want to fix?
I would like to see a program for career advancement mentoring, where a senior manager takes me ‘under his wing’, sets goals and monitors my progress by providing constructive feedback in order to help me grow in the company and fulfil my potential.
Finally, what’s your favourite quote?.
‘Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.’ –Henry David Thoreau
Thanks for this Daniel, as ever the team and I are super grateful for all you do/have done and wish you to be a part of the exciting future in the Rail sector.
If you want to begin or develop your current career in Rail, speak to one of our consultants today: https://fusionpeople.com/contact-us