We are delighted to celebrate Sam Jennings, Director of Client Services and Rail Signalling for his eight years of service at Advance TRS. In his time at Advance TRS, Sam has managed the delivery of a series of Managed Service Programmes and Recruitment Process Outsourcing partnerships with key client accounts for the rail sector and was promoted to Client Services and Rail Signalling last year.

“Sam is a key member of the Senior Leadership Team and an influential figure within the business. He is always the first to get involved in company activities and is an active fundraiser, often putting his body (and facial hair!) on the line to raise money for a good cause.”

Explains Group Managing Director, Andy Ridout.

Sam has previously completed the London Marathon raising over £2,500 for Action for Children, Movember, Surrey Half Marathon and #WalkAllOverCancer challenge for Cancer Research UK.

Ride Vietnam Challenge

This year he is taking on a new challenge, Railway Children’s Ride Vietnam Challenge. As a novice cyclist, Sam will be confronting a challenging 450km cycle across 7 days in 30 degrees. He is now well into his training before the October trip. Please support his efforts and donate via his JustGiving page.

Client Services

As Director of Client Services, Sam is responsible for delivering service level agreements and key performance indicators for our key client partnerships, recruitment process outsourcing and managed service contracts. He works closely with clients to create and deliver custom recruitment solutions to support business needs. From contingent recruitment to managed services and recruitment process outsourcing. For key clients Sam acts as a delivery director, offering a single point of contact for line managers. He works closely with the Advance TRS recruitment delivery team to fulfil technical recruitment SLAs and KPIs.

Alstom Partnership

Notably, Sam is the Key Account Director for our recruitment partnership with Alstom. Sam leads our client services team to deliver a planned programme of recruitment to an exciting portfolio of projects across the UK. Advance TRS was appointed as RPO partners for Alstom’s permanent staff recruitment drive. We supply rail signalling management, engineering and installation professionals in York, Derby, Birmingham, London and Bristol, as part of CP6 in early 2020.

Railway Signalling

Outside of his work with key clients in Client Services, Sam is incredibly well networked within the Railway Signalling sector. He has led the Advance TRS rail signalling department, following in company founder, Andy Ridout’s footsteps.

Join the team

Sam is expanding his team! Check out our live vacancies to find out how you can join the Advance TRS client services team, delivering an internal recruitment function for our key clients.

Our Group Operations Director Paul Merton has been with Advance TRS since its humble beginnings, joining just 6 months after it was founded. He is now celebrating 10 years with the company, and what a decade it has been.

Group MD and Founder Andy Ridout explains:

Paul was such a welcome addition to the team. Aside from being a good friend, he brought a wealth of experience and industry knowledge. In his time with the company, he has worked tirelessly to ensure we have solid systems, policies and procedures that provide the foundations to support the success and growth of Advance TRS.”

As our resident expert of legislation, Paul oversees the continual development of Advance TRS’s compliance and operational systems.

Our compliance procedures, regulations, accreditations, and client processes are essential. This gives clients and candidates the confidence that our systems are robust enough to support any service they require.

Today, our Marketing Consultant sits down with Paul to understand more about his time with Advance TRS and the last 10 years of working with a growing company.

How did you secure your role with Advance TRS?

I’ve actually known Andy for over 30 years and worked closely with him in rail recruitment for 12 years prior to Advance TRS. During my career I built up extensive knowledge within the Rail Telecommunications and Mechanical & Electrical sectors. I developed strong relationships and grew an excellent network of respected clients and candidates.

Once Andy started the business, he approached me and asked if I’d come on board. We share the same beliefs and values and had the same visions for what makes a successful business. We used our experiences to learn from what we had done previously, and implement this in what we would do going forward.

What made you pursue this career?

Well, I decided to join the business to support its growth. With my experience in rail, I knew what we needed to do to offer the best service, especially when it came to being compliant and legal. The role offered a great balance of my skills. Andy and I also had complementary skills that worked well together.

How has the business changed in the past decade?

It’s been fantastic. The business has seen incredible growth and continues to provide honest, reliable, and top-quality recruitment solutions. I think that’s part of the success of the business, that the values we implemented at the start, have been bought into by staff and maintained. They really believe in the service that we’ve always wanted to provide. Genuinely, the key part of the business is the people.

To be honest the job has also become more of a passion. I want to make sure that whatever we’re doing, we are doing to the best of our ability. I’m always looking for ways in which I can improve what we do.

Have you seen changes in the sector in the past 10 years?

Whilst there have been a lot of changes in legislation, compliance, policies etc, the service we provide and the sector we work in have all stayed fairly constant. Legislation, equality & diversity, environment & sustainability, modern slavery etc – none of that was as prolific 10-15 years ago when I was a recruiter as it is now. It is fantastic that we are now so focused on these factors in both our own employment activities as well as our service provision, however change takes time and have to be administered carefully to ensure everyone understands the need and buys into it.

The business continues to evolve, as do our sectors. We’re providing services to more and more sectors, headed up by fantastic sector experts like Rob Kelly and Matt Bray. However, at the heart of it all are the same beliefs and values Andy and I have from 10 years ago.

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

I’d have to say it doesn’t necessarily come down to one project or one moment, but where the business is today is such an achievement. The fact we have a team of people that are so dedicated and committed to the business and their role within their team as a whole, is very rewarding. I feel so fortunate to be part of it. All that dedication plays a huge part in our qualifications, certifications etc, I can’t take responsibility for that on a personal level. The whole team contributes to our successes. 10 years ago, I could never have imagined we’d be where we are today!

What challenges have you faced in the last 10 years?

The challenges have changed over the years. A decade ago, it was the challenge of being a new company, trying to go out into the market and present yourself as a new brand. We had to get clients to buy into the company, not just myself or Andy and our experience. Luckily, we made sure a lot of our systems, IT infrastructure etc was scalable so that helped us a lot as we grew. COVID-19 was one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced, but our IT systems all being online meant we could switch from office to home working within 24 hours.

As the years go by everything becomes easier, but the challenges of growth then develop in other ways.

The other challenge is always staying one step ahead. As Group Operations Director, it’s my job to make sure the company runs smoothly and try to anticipate anything that might throw that.

What has been the key to a successful career with Advance?

I think it comes down to my belief in the business and the service we provide. I’ve always worked in a customer-facing role, so I know that if the business is stable from a legal/compliance/systems aspect, it can support our teams to deliver the best service to clients and candidates.

It always comes down to offering the best services, so I know I need to do whatever I can to make sure that happens.

Do you have any advice/words of wisdom for new starters or people entering the recruitment industry?

There is no part of this business that can operate as a sole entity, we’re all part of the chain and each person, department etc plays a vital role in that. We want each person to come on board and be part of the journey. I would advise new starters to take responsibility for their job role. As the company continues to grow, everybody has an opportunity to grow in their role, to flourish and be the best version of themselves. If you take pride in your own role, it helps you to develop. We reward success so we’re really looking for people who are determined, driven, and wanting to succeed.

Any final words?

It’s a never-ending job! It doesn’t matter what I do, there will always be something new, something different or something we can do better. Even now I’m constantly learning new things, it’s a very varied role. I feel so privileged to be where I am today, bring on the next 10 years!

Why Advance TRS?

As a rapidly growing recruitment business, 2022 is an exciting time to kick-start your career with Advance TRS. We have fantastic opportunities available across all levels, from entry-level resourcers to senior recruitment consultants. As recruiters we understand that talented and motivated staff is the key to a successful business.

For a confidential chat, contact our Talent Acquisition Manager Jessica Wells on 07432 356 750, email or connect on LinkedIn. Alternatively, head to our job search page to view all our latest vacancies.

As 2021 draws to a close, the Advance TRS team have been reflecting on what has been another memorable year. Whilst Covid-19 has still created challenges, the markets have continued to flourish, and the team remained motivated in providing an excellent service to clients and candidates.

Celebrating our 10 year anniversary has allowed the team to look back on our incredible growth and look forward to exciting times ahead. In the final part of our 3-part blog series, we discuss this with Founder and Managing Director Andy Ridout.

Where do you want the company to be in the next few months/years?

Andy: In the immediate future we just want to re-engage with clients face to face, rather than via zoom or teams. Whilst these tools have been a saving grace in the last 2 years, there’s nothing better than sitting down together and sharing thoughts, ambitions etc. Personal interaction has always been a key driver for the business, so we can’t wait to get back out there.

In the next 12-18 months we’re hoping to see things improve even further with the pandemic. We’ll remain understanding of our clients wants and needs to help them stabilise in a post-pandemic world. Understandably our clients are catching up on project that had been delayed during Covid. However, we’re on hand to help deliver suitable candidates and provide support.

Longer term, we want to expand on what we’re already doing. We’ve got a great team, with expertise and knowledge in their sectors, and an established client base. We plan on improving the communication we have with our clients and keeping them up to date with what we’re doing, the services we’re providing etc. It would also be nice to see us expanding into other markets such as renewables, power and nuclear.

What are the plans for South Coast (& other locations)?

Andy: The south coast have been smashing their targets, outperforming in every area. They are doing such a fantastic job, that we can speed up our plans of growth for the office. We hope to enter the new year with additional staff there, and in the rest of the business. Bringing with them a host of knowledge and experience to expand and strengthen the teams.

We’re also looking to open a new office in London and aiming for a greater presence in the area. The opportunity to attract a different portfolio of recruitment consultants and clients will help take the company to new heights!

So, why join Advance TRS?

Since establishing, our team have managed to deliver year-on-year growth and organic expansion of services, sectors, staff and offices. This is a track record we are very proud of and are keen to continue.

Looking forward to 2022 it’s looking to be an exciting and challenging year. Our team are motivated and driven to support the growth of the business. All whilst maintaining our values and delivering exceptional service to our clients and candidates.

To join our team, just click the link below and apply today!


Despite the challenges of 2021, the Advance TRS team have had some big celebrations as the company reached an incredible 10-year milestone. From its humble beginnings in 2011, Advance TRS has shown remarkable growth. It has gone from a £0 to a £25m turnover business, delivering MSPs and RPOs for some of the biggest businesses in the built environment. To this day the team work closely with clients and candidates to provide honest, reliable, and top-quality recruitment solutions.

In the second part of our blog series, we sit down with Andy, Founder and Group Managing Director, to discuss the company today and what makes Advance TRS different.

Where is the business currently?

Andy: Right now, we are very established. Each sector has developed a strong client base and recognised recruiters that have a deep understanding of their sectors, from both the client and candidates. They have learnt what the clients expectations and requirements are, plus what a candidate wants, and needs. We offer a professional service and expert advice to our clients. With this critical client base, we can operate fantastic recruitment solutions.

The pandemic, the general election and Brexit have all had a knock-on effect to the recruitment market. This has been challenging at times, however, we have not let this slow us down. We stayed motivated and worked hard, no matter what the circumstances. The markets are recovering well and now picking up pace on projects or programmes that had been delayed during the challenging period. This creates a greater need for us to deliver suitable candidates and help catch up on any delays.

The future is looking very exciting for Advance TRS! We’re expanding geographically and aiming for a greater presence in London. This would give us the opportunity to attract a different portfolio of recruitment consultants. We can offer a greater service, with even more experience and knowledgeable people.

What makes Advance TRS different?

Andy: Despite being a SME business we are running two successful offices and looking to open a third. We are committed to delivering our service in a responsible, safe, and sustainable way. From our environmental footprint to site-based health and safety, and from legal compliance to giving back to local communities, our attention to detail and dedication to delivering a quality service rings true throughout everything we do.

From the beginning, staff wellbeing and company values have been highly important to me. I’ve tried to nurture a close office culture, where colleagues work together and look out for each other. It is a culture we work hard to protect and continue, so finding the right people for the company is just as important as finding the right people for the job. By collaborating in a friendly, open office, we work together to deliver the best possible service for our customers.

Advancing those less fortunate has also been a central motivator for me and the Advance TRS team. To date, our staff have raised over £65,000 for charities, completing an incredible array of personal challenges to raise money and awareness for those less fortunate.

So, why join Advance?

As a rapidly growing recruitment business, we have fantastic opportunities for career development. We pride ourselves on rewarding success and promoting from within. However, we are always looking for new talent to further strengthen and expand our teams.

Working with our experienced training and development team, you’ll develop your skills and abilities even further to ensure you reach your maximum potential in your role. We also have a company intranet, with online training courses available for your own progress.

As recruiters, we really understand that talented and motivated staff is the key to any successful business. Check out our website to find out more and contact us today!


This September the Advance TRS team celebrates the recruitment agency’s remarkable 10-year milestone, as they gear up for some well-deserved anniversary celebrations in London at the end of the month.

In the past decade, the business has shown incredible growth, starting as a one-man band and turning into a £25m business. Founder and Group Managing Director Andy Ridout employs some of the industry’s most knowledgeable recruitment experts who provide a 5-star service to both clients and candidates. 

In this 3-part blog series, Andy tells us what sparked the idea of setting up the business, where he sees the company going in the coming months and years and reveals some exciting plans. 

Andy, what motivated you to start your own recruitment business 10 years ago and what was your vision?

Andy: I come from a recruitment background. Prior to setting up Advance TRS, I had already spent 25 years being a leading recruitment expert in the built environment. I saw a lot of poor quality service that barely scratched the surface, so I wanted to offer a service that really focused on quality over quantity, building close relationships with clients, getting a deep technical understanding of their needs to be able to find the top-quality talent they’re looking for.

I also knew I wanted it to be a multi-sector business within the built environment to enable us to cross-sell skill sets and opportunities that would complement each other.

How has the business changed in the past decade? 

Andy: In the beginning, I knew we needed to build a good reputation, establish our presence on the market and deliver what we said we would, to the high-quality standards we had set ourselves. Being such a small team at the beginning, it wasn’t always easy but we worked hard and it paid off. 

In no time at all Advance TRS started attracting top sector experts into the business, seasoned recruiters who know their industries and who live by the same values we had set for ourselves. And there’s no end in sight! We continue to grow and recruit new team members who bring the right ethos and drive. 

These fantastic individuals have been integral in driving the business forward. Our grown Guildford and South Coast teams are stronger than ever and we’re ready to take the business to the next level.

Why Advance TRS?

As a rapidly growing recruitment business, we have fantastic opportunities for career development. We pride ourselves on rewarding success and promoting from within. However, we are always looking for new talent to further strengthen and expand our teams.

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 are able to shape a clear career path bespoke to them, mapping out potential routes of progression within the company.

Our dedication to creating a fantastic working environment was recognised at the 2018 Toast of Surrey Business Awards when we were announced as Employer of the Year and Leadership Team of the Year.

As well as a competitive salary, you’ll also be able to take advantage of our fantastic benefits package including; Discounts and Perks, Private Pension Plan, Team Building & Incentives (Climb the O2, powerboat down the Thames or enjoy a night out on the company. We ensure hard work and dedication is rightly rewarded), Break Out Room, Private Health Insurance, Uncapped Commission, Life Assurance, and Workplace Wellbeing program. 

Check out our website to find out more and contact us today!