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The UK Economy and Its Effect on the Rail Industry

Aug 26, 2008
No matter whether you call it the 'liquidity crisis', the 'credit squeeze', or the 'credit crunch' it all comes down to the same thing. The economic growth of the UK is slowing dramatically and there are growing fears of a recession. In the second quarter of the year the economy only grew by 0.2%, which is the lowest quarter-on-quarter growth rate in three years. There have been major job cuts in the construction industry and it is suspected that manufacturing output will begin to fall. Oil and food prices are rising, not only in the UK, but also across the globe in general. The question is: how will all this affect the rail industry in the UK?

Despite the dramatic effect that the current economic climate in the UK is having on the major job sectors, the future of the rail industry is still extremely positive. With huge government investment to improve existing rail networks, and with continued growth in the number of passengers and the use of trains for business use, the rail industry seems to be going strong. If it is true that more and more people are holidaying in the UK, rather than travelling abroad, then this could be another contributing factor to growth.

Indeed as fuel prices increase, and as less and less people travel abroad, more and more will choose to travel by rail. This means that demand for more services will grow and that investment will grow proportionately. This will have a knock-on effect and be beneficial to all aspects of the rail industry, and at all levels.

Rail jobs are varied and range from the grass-roots train driving and crew positions right the way up to project management and general management positions. There are also engineering jobs, jobs for electricians, planning, scheduling and IT positions, along with HR and procurement positions. In fact there is pretty much every job type that you would expect from a major industrial market sector. The rail industry is vast and is used by many people on a daily basis and as such needs a well-trained and effective workforce.

With the credit crunch you would expect that wages on the whole would be slowing and although this is generally the case, wages within the rail industry are still reasonably high. For example a Project Manager in London can expect to get up to 65,000 per annum depending on experience. What's more the work can be rewarding, challenging and interesting. There is also lots of room for advancement and career development.

So despite fears in other industry areas, and even the prospect of a recession, the rail industry seems to be maintaining a strong foothold. What's more job positions in the sector are under no more threat than usual and there may even be an increase as demand for rail transport grows in the future. Salaries are competitive and are likely to remain so. All of this adds up to the rail industry being a good area to keep working in or consider moving into if thinking of a career change.
About the Author
Duncan freer - Director - Rail Jobs Search is a job site dedicated to the specific needs of candidates who work in the building services and Rail industry in the UK. We also provide recruiters with an online service that is effective in terms of cost and ease of use.


For interviews, images or comments contact:
Duncan Freer,
Email: duncan@railjobsearch.com
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