23rd June 2022 marks International Women in Engineering Day, giving women engineers around the world a profile in an under-represented profession. As of June 2021, figures show that 16.5% of engineers are women. It’s an important day to recognise those paving the way and encourage young women to take up engineering careers.

Why do we need more women in engineering?

There are many answers to this question, but ultimately studies have shown that diverse teams tend to perform better. With different approaches to tasks, various skillsets and ways of thinking, diverse teams can strike a great balance. Men and women often have different strengths, which can create a powerful result when combined.

With quickly developing technology and the 21st century advancing quicker than ever before, we need engineers with a wide range of skills and abilities. There are countless options, fields, and industries available to an engineer. From the built environment which encompasses roads, waterworks, railways and much more, to tackling climate change.

What can be done?

There are a number of organisations promoting the education and development of women or young girls to fulfil their potential and pursue engineering careers.

It’s important to shake the bias that girls can’t be or are not good in science and mathematics. From a young age, we can encourage girls to develop these skills. Such as learning code, carrying out science experiments (safely!) and taking these subjects through to further education.

STEM Women run graduate careers events and promote jobs aimed at university students and recent graduates who identify as women or non-binary, and study a STEM-related subject; science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

At the start of the year, they published a Whitepaper exploring students’ and graduates’ attitudes towards gender issues prevalent within STEM.

As a society, we should be shining the light on the contributions of women in engineering and encourage female innovators. Films such as Hidden Figures, Engima, Gravity and even Big Hero 6 are a great representation of women in STEM. We should also improve the images used when talking about science and engineering. A quick search online will often show images of men on a construction site and very few women. Imagine getting to a point where you don’t have to specifically search for “women engineer”.

The Women’s Engineering Society is a charitable company founded to support women in engineering. They were the ones who founded International Women in Engineering Day. Their vision is to see an engineering industry that employs the diversity of the society it serves, solving the biggest societal issues of our time. It is their mission to support women in engineering careers to fulfil their potential and support the industry to be inclusive.

We’re Hiring

At Advance TRS, we believe everyone deserves the same opportunities, regardless of age, race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. The diversity of our workforce is an essential part of our success. As such, we are committed to supporting contractors and staff to work in an environment that is free from discrimination and promotes equal opportunities for all.

We are currently recruiting for a number of positions across our Guildford and Port Solent offices. Check out our latest opportunities.

This year for the first time, Advance TRS are delighted to launch a summer internship for someone looking to develop their skills in social media representing a brand. As a Social Media Intern, you’ll work alongside our Marketing Executive and Marketing & Development Director on all social media content & creative strategy; making sure our business’s content is on-brand, reaching the right people, and converting them into candidates or new recruits for our growing team.

View the full job description or apply.

You’ll be working on core channels across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and supporting our LinkedIn strategy. So if you’re passionate about social media and content creation – then this is the role for you!

Ella Gardiner, our Marketing and Development Director began her career in marketing by completing a summer internship that lead to a permanent role and has never looked back. 

“After graduating from university I was unsure as to what steps to take to start my career in the professional world. I was fortunate enough to land an opportunity as a summer intern for a non-profit group and got stuck right in. It was a great way to get my first taste of office life after full-time education without too much pressure. After a number of weeks in the position, a permanent role became available and I was over the moon when my application was accepted.” 

Ella explains. 

“Although I had had part-time jobs in retail, child care and hospitality throughout my teens and university career, working in an office environment was a big adjustment and the internship was a great way for me to get adjusted, meet people and learn how I could best apply my skill set and experience to supporting a brands marketing strategy”. 

Ella has progressed her career since beginning in marketing and was recently promoted to Marketing and Development Director at the award-winning £30 million turnover company based in central Guildford. Since joining the business 6 years ago as Events and PR Coordinator, Ella has grown with the business and developed skills across the marketing, training, and development fields. 

“As our business continues to grow and the opportunity for our brand to be represented in new ways on new channels increases, this is a great time to extend this opportunity to someone looking to apply their skills to an established brand and have some creative fun too”. 

This year signifies a high growth period for the business, with a new office planned for central London and large intakes of new staff at both existing offices in Guildford and Port Solent, this is a great time to join the business with a number of significant marketing campaigns and events planned for the new Intern to get stuck into.

The Opportunity

The successful candidate will be;

  • Building & developing your own, and the company’s, approach to social media content. 
  • Applying original thought to create beautiful content for our channels.
  • Working on social media strategy and constantly optimising campaigns to achieve the absolute best results for the team, taking into account performance across different channels.
  • Assisting in the growth of our Influencer Marketing service. 
  • Planning & booking influencers to drive revenue for our clients.
  • Supporting the Marketing Executive to report on and analyse performance and engagement.

The ideal candidate will:

  • want to build a career in Social Media Marketing, and see yourself growing within a fast-growth agency.
  • be an enthusiastic & passionate person, who genuinely cares about your work and wants to do the absolute best you can.
  • be creative and have experience with creating content, and have the desire to continue growing those skills.
  • have strong organisational skills.
  • need to be curious and adaptable: it’s a fast-moving company and social advertising even more so, products change and adapt weekly and you must be happy with keeping up to date with changes and learning about how they may impact our output.

View the full job description or apply for our Summer Social Media Internship.

If this sounds like the perfect opportunity for you or someone you know, please have a look at what it’s like to work for Advance TRS, check out our company Instagram or contact Ella for more information. 

Celebrating the achievements of women across the built environment industry

Tuesday 8th March 2022 marks International Women’s Day, a day that celebrates the achievements of women and marks a call to action to accelerate women’s equality. International Women’s Day has been marked for over a century, with the first gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, it belongs to all groups everywhere, not country, group, or organisation specific.

This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias, advocating a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equal, and inclusive.

Today we sit down with two of our successfully placed female candidates. Both have found placements within the rail sector as Specialist Consultants and Safety Assurance Engineers. They’ve spoken to us about their experiences and achievements in their chosen fields.

When did you first consider pursuing this career?

Nicky – Well I didn’t really plan on doing this career. A friend sent through a short-term opportunity which was so interesting. I found I met most of the criteria they were looking for, apart from sector knowledge/experience. Using an agency like Advance TRS helped me see that I had transferrable skills that I could use across sectors. Their knowledge gave me the confidence in my capabilities when I couldn’t see them myself, which was really encouraging.

Ria – I’ve actually been in the rail sector for 12+ years now. Originally, I was working in the aviation and maritime industry, but then offered a new opportunity when my company moved offices. I felt this was quite a good move to make, I had skills that could be transferred across, just had to learn more about the rail industry and technical aspects.

What was your experience of entering the industry?

Nicky – It was good. I found the industry and people very welcoming and didn’t feel like there were any barriers holding me back.

Ria – Generally very smooth sailing. Early on in my career as a junior it could get a bit intimidating being the only woman and have your voice heard, but on the whole, there were never any hindrances.

What made you want to pursue/continue with this career choice?

Nicky – I enjoyed the prospect of being challenged by something new, it was a good opportunity. The scale of projects is interesting; you’re involved in something that is there for years to come. I feel rewarded knowing that I’m making a difference to people’s lives, or making their journeys easier. I also get to work with world class engineers, highly specialised in their roles and incredibly knowledgeable, it’s very fulfilling work.

How important is diversity and inclusivity when you are job searching?

Nicky – This is always at the top of my list. We all have different circumstances, situations, backgrounds etc and the industry needs to be, and generally is, very understanding of that. It’s so important to feel part of a diverse workplace, where you can be heard, no matter what your experiences, or where you are with your life or career.

Ria – At the start of my career it wasn’t something I really thought about, however I was aware that I was one of very few women, and the only woman of colour. In recent job searches I am more aware of it and have noticed a lot of progress, lots more inclusion/diversity. However, I have still seen instances where for example a job description is written in the male pronoun, using “he”.

STEM Women have compiled an in-depth Whitepaper that explored students’ and graduates’ attitudes towards gender issues that are prevalent within STEM.

The report found that from 2019 to 2021, the percentage of respondents that see diversity initiatives as extremely or very important when accepting job offers rose from 74% in 2019, to 83% in 2020 and 89% in 2021.

From 2019 to 2021, the number of respondents who said that the gender balance of a company would influence whether they would accept a job offer rose from 54% to 67%, that’s an increase of 13%.

What would you say is your greatest professional achievement so far?

Nicky – I’ve been very fortunate to work on several ground-breaking campaigns, introducing new technologies, working with amazing teams and clients. Even though I might have played a small part in the project, it’s so rewarding to see the result and know you’ve been a part of that. Balancing work and family life is also something I feel proud of.

Ria – Completing my master’s degree in Railway Systems Engineering & Integration. I completed this whilst working full time, studying part-time and expecting my first child. It was a lot to take on but brought a lot of value and additional knowledge that I didn’t have before.

How would you describe your experience of being a woman in your industry?

Nicky – While diversity and gender balance are improving, engineering is still a male dominated sector and you’re sometimes aware that you are working in an environment where you are the minority. However, I’ve never had any negative experiences or felt like being a woman is an issue. I’ve seen a big improvement in equality and more women are coming into the industry. There are many opportunities for women to enter and it’s good to see a greater variety of roles beyond engineering. This includes senior roles, management roles and apprenticeships.

Ria – It’s never felt like a barrier. You have to find your voice and fight for what you believe in, not afraid to say how you feel. I do feel like my degree has helped empower me and prove to people that I do know what I’m talking about.

STEM’s report also found that in 2021, 57% of respondents said they had suffered from or experienced imposter syndrome. Many highlighted that this arose from feeling like the ‘odd one out.’ To read the full article click here.

Have you been given any advice that has helped shape your career?

Nicky – As early as possible, find your niche. If you can find something you enjoy doing, get really good at doing it. It took me a while to understand what that means/what that is but try anything! Don’t be afraid to try different things to narrow down what it is that you’re looking for. Also, take opportunities when they present themselves, until you try – you don’t know.

Ria – I don’t think there has been any specific advice, but I did have a mentor that really supported me. She helped me navigate and overcome challenges that I was having and encouraged me in recognising my achievements. Sometimes it’s hard to recognise these in yourself but she really saw the best in me. It’s hard to explain the value and impact this had on my career.

Do you have any female role models that have encouraged you in your career?

Nicky – Yes, I have a strong network of men and women and I’ve received some great advice from them throughout my life and career. I always listen carefully and learn from them – to take on board their suggestions and advice and carry it forward in what I do. It’s important to welcome and consider any feedback you receive – from everyone.

Ria – I’ve got a good friend who’s a chartered engineer in a senior role. She’s also a mum of 2 so it’s really inspiring to see someone else managing both career and motherhood. It helps me recognise what I can achieve myself. I also think having a female support network around you is so important. Having people looking out for you and wanting the best for you is really encouraging.

Based on your experience, what advice would you give to women considering a career in your sector?

Nicky – You must find your voice, find confidence in what you do and how you do it. In this sector you’ve got to be quite versatile and be able to think on your feet. Do what you can to get as much experience behind you as possible, so you’ll feel more confident and able to succeed. Create a support network. Build your own personal brand! There are many opportunities, go for it!

Ria – It’s a globally growing industry, with many projects starting up. This sector needs female intelligence, the way we think and being able to provide a different perspective. Believe in yourself and challenge yourself, don’t be afraid to go for it – take a chance!

Why Advance TRS?

At Advance TRS, we believe everyone deserves the same opportunities, regardless of age, race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. The diversity of our workforce is an essential part of our success. As such, we are committed to supporting contractors and staff to work in an environment that is free from discrimination and promotes equal opportunities for all.

We are a niche recruitment consultancy specialising in the provision of highly skilled technical professionals for the built environment. We provide permanent, contract and temporary recruitment solutions to both candidates and clients across several key technical sectors including rail, construction and water & environment services.

Since its establishment in 2011, the company has shown remarkable growth, delivering MSPs and RPOs for some of the biggest businesses in the built environment. The team continue to work closely together to deliver honest, reliable solutions to clients and candidates.

Take a look at our job board for our latest vacancies.

Delivering premium quality solutions for the technical engineer sector

Tam Shahid is a Delivery Project Manager, Water Environment & Infrastructure Team. He joined Advance TRS in November 2020, specialising in the delivery process for Senior Consultants. Tam generates suitable candidates to match client requirements/expectations.

Group MD and Founder Andy Ridout explains:

“Tam is an absolute asset to the company. In his time with us, he has mastered the complexity and skill required to deliver exemplary service to both clients and candidates. Tam project manages the assignments from our clients and supports our consultants throughout the process. Having the knowledge, expertise, and skillset to source and deliver niche engineering specialists. He provides our clients with an efficient and top quality service, something Advance TRS is recognised for.”

Tam provides bespoke support to our Port Solent based Water and Environment team. The team offer an expert focus and quality recruitment service to both clients and candidates in the sector. They consistently meet and exceed expectations. As a well-respected and effective recruitment partner, the team deliver results time and time again. They offer services for a range of public and private sector clients across the UK. These include consultancies, contractors, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). They place exceptional talent in permanent, contract and interim roles.

In his time in the role, Tam has assisted in the development of a dynamic and efficient delivery function within the team. He is capable of supporting the sales function across market verticals. Tam truly understands the calibre of staff required for our business to thrive.

Today our Marketing Consultants sit down with Tam and his Director to understand more about the role Tam plays in driving the Port Solent office’s success and growth.

So, Tam, what led you to this career?

I started working from the age of 16 part-time within retail, whilst studying full-time. Once I graduated from the University of Portsmouth, I was looking for a change in direction from Retail and came across Recruitment. I saw this as an opportunity to expand on my skills in areas such as communication, time management, persuasion, multi-tasking etc. It also meant I could learn new skills, and learn about the specified markets.

What made you take the job at Advance TRS?

Advance TRS are a growing company and has a clear vision for the future. The company and colleagues I work with have specialist knowledge that enables you to progress in this role. Having previously worked with Rob Kelly at another company, I was managed and trained by him to a high level, so this also drew me to the role. I was excited to be contributing and be part of it all!

How has your role developed since you joined the company?

Initially, I was asked to carry out a Senior Delivery role where I would generate candidates, working on live jobs, advertising roles, writing adverts etc. My role has since developed, and my responsibilities now include supporting internal recruitment. I also project manage the growth of the delivery team, train and develop new staff and provide regular reports on the delivery output. The managing director has approved training to gain my APMP qualification, to become a qualified project manager and progress my role even further.

In what way does your role assist your colleagues and the company?

My role helps support the Senior Sales team workload, allowing them to focus on other key areas and ease some of their work pressures. The process involved contributes to increasing our company’s reputation. We provide a more thorough and polished search, ensuring we are covering all markets and sourcing that ideal candidate for our clients. My experience within the role means I’ve developed a good understanding of the candidates I’ve spoken to, their skills, qualifications, responsibilities etc.

When a client presents us with a role, I’m able to deliver someone suitable and who meets the requirements. Unlike other consultants, I don’t specialise in one area, or one job role. I’ve worked on a broad range of different roles and built a knowledge and understanding based on the job specification and the candidates. Each time we successfully fill a role, it increases our reputation and generates a flow of further work from the clients.

What complexities do you find with this role?

As with the nature of recruitment, it’s always tough when you lose out on a candidate. There may be a number of reasons why they may have rejected a job offer but through experience, you learn when to be persuasive with someone, when you need to be persistent and when you need to be patient. It can sometimes be challenging trying to juggle multiple job roles, so the ability to multitask and be organised is key. You have to learn to prioritise the most important task.

What have been some of your biggest successes?

Since joining the team in November 2020 I have helped contribute to 31 placements for the business. I continually support the business with the growth of the delivery team.

If you are interested in learning from Tam and finding out how you can pursue a career in Delivery, we are always hiring. Find out more about our current opportunities here (https://www.advance-trs.com/about/careers-at-advance/)

Rob Kelly, our Water & Infrastructure Director works closely with Tam throughout the recruitment process. He explains the vital role Tam plays in supporting the candidates and meeting our clients’ requirements.

How would you describe the benefits of having Tam in his role?

Tam co-ordinates between our sales function and candidate delivery function. His role ensures an excellent experience for the candidates, developing a rapport with them throughout the entire hiring process. He has likely pre-interviewed and pre-referenced a volume of candidates and assessed their suitability prior to jobs being advertised by our clients. This provides clients with a more efficient, pro-active service and means we are able to quickly source appropriate candidates. This gives us and our clients an edge over competitors and puts us at the forefront of recruitment.

If you’re interested in joining our team, or viewing our latest sector vacancies, please visit our website https://www.advance-trs.com/jobs. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our dedicated team on 01483 361 061.

Why Advance TRS?

Advance TRS is a niche recruitment consultancy specialising in the provision of highly skilled technical professionals for the built environment. We provide permanent, contract and temporary recruitment solutions to both candidates and clients across several key technical sectors including rail, construction and water & environment services.

Since its establishment in 2011, the company has shown remarkable growth, delivering MSPs and RPOs for some of the biggest businesses in the built environment. The team continue to work closely together to deliver honest, reliable solutions to clients and candidates.

As recruiters, we really understand that talented and motivated staff is the key to any successful business. To help us develop our team into the best they can be, all staff receive invaluable mentorship from our experienced senior leaders and map out potential routes of progression within the company.

The year is coming to an end and it’s usually around this time that many of us commit to resolutions we want to achieve over the next twelve months. If a new job or career is on your list then read our recommendations on what you can do now to set yourself up for success in the new year.

Update your CV

A great starting point – having an updated CV listing your most recent experience and relevant roles is very important. Make sure you keep it short and sweet and don’t include unnecessary detail.

If you’re spending Christmas with your family or friends take advantage of having them around and ask them to check your CV. Some of them might have some great advice on what you can improve.

Don’t forget your LinkedIn profile

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date too. That way, any recruiters or potential employers coming across your page can get a good overview of your experience.

Time for new goals

Use the time you have off over the Christmas period to set some new goals. Make a plan of how you want to achieve them and in what timeframe. This can really help keep you motivated and on track. Remember to stay SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound for the best results!

Find a specialist recruiter

A great way to find a job you really like is to work with a specialist recruiter in your area. Good recruiters will have a comprehensive understanding of your market and current opportunities. Engaging recruiters is a quick way of tapping into this knowledge to help you in your search. 

Advance TRS

If you’re looking for roles in the rail, water or construction sectors, our specialist teams might have the right one for you.

You can contact our Recruitment Consultants for a conversation about your new career, our latest vacancies and to discuss any potential opportunities with them.

While maintaining our strong reputation as dependable, effective and honest, Advance TRS continue to grow. Therefore, we are always looking for driven and ambitious individuals to join the team. If this sounds like you and you’d like to work for a business that values its employees’ contribution, we would love to hear from you!

To find out more about our current opportunities, visit our careers page, or for a discrete conversation, contact our Talent Acquisition Manager, Jess.

At Advance TRS we pride ourselves on being the best we can be and delivering a premium quality service to our candidates and clients alike. In order to deliver this, we look for people with the right qualities and habits so we can equip them with the tools to be the best recruiters. 

Personally, I didn’t pursue the academic route, but that definitely did not stop me. At my peak, I billed over £1million in a year. How? Because I am tenacious, determined, competitive and I work hard. 

This drive has taken me from a recruitment novice to million-pound biller, and from business start-up to successful business owner, founder and MD of a multi-million-pound business. 

Delivering premium recruitment solutions is not easy, it can be arduous and is hard work. However, as a successful consultant, the rewards can be huge. To rival the biggest billers there are a few qualities that are essential for success. 

Here are some we look for in new starters, see if you think you have what it takes. 


Top performers are ambitious and goal-oriented. We are looking for people who are not satisfied with simply plodding along. We are looking for those who will go above and beyond to chase down their goals and are hungry to push themselves to the next level. 


Inevitably the best recruiters simply work harder and smarter than everyone else. No one likes a busy fool, so implement time management strategies effectively to get the most out of your time, avoid the distractions, and get on the phone. The harder you work, the higher the rewards, your only limit is you! 


Focus is essential to running your desk. A successful 360 consultant will need to effectively multi-task to keep all the plates of the recruitment process spinning – so to make this easier, keep your desk and your plan focused and organised so you don’t fall into the trap of being busy doing nothing. 


Recruitment can be tough and full of rejection, so having a positive outlook is essential for success. Those who expect to succeed more often than not are the ones who are prepared to put in the time and the work to make it happen. Plus… some studies indicate that optimists outsell pessimists by up to 40%!


Our top performers don’t want to just do well, they want to be the best. By pushing themselves and each other the whole team does better. We run regular incentives and competitions in addition to sharing league tables and company records to spur on a little friendly competition in the team. 

Clear communicator

Be it in person, on the phone, via email or social media, recruitment consultants are constantly talking to people. To be successful it is essential that you can effectively communicate with others, to ensure full understanding and effectively market yourself, the business and opportunities. 


In order to build relationships and networks, you need a little dose of confidence, however, don’t confuse confidence with arrogance. Your clients and candidates need to be sure that you are the right person for the job.  


A career in recruitment gives you the unparalleled opportunity to build your own business and write your own paycheck if you are motivated to succeed. No one will do it for you, you need to have the passion and drive to get up in the morning and make your desk a success. 


Never give up, ever. 


People buy from people, so we are looking for people with something about them. A character and personality that makes them stand out from the crowd. At Advance TRS we embrace each other’s quirks and look for likeminded people to fit in our band of misfits.

Do you think you have what it takes to give our big billers a run for their money? If you have the qualities we are looking for get in touch to see how we can advance your career. Visit our website or for a discrete conversation contact Paul Metcalfe, Advance TRS CEO on 07793 554 413 or email pme@advance-trs.com.