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Meet the Team

Andy Ridout

Group Managing Director

Specialty: Business Development

Andy is recognised internationally as a market leading specialist recruiter, renowned for his ability to source scarce and highly skilled candidates in the engineering, construction and project services sectors.

Andy founded Advance-TRS in 2011 and today the company continues to be widely acknowledged as one of the fastest growing of its kind. In that time Andy has built an exceptional team of consultants who, having benefited from his experience and work ethos are fast becoming well-known for their own highly respected recruitment capabilities.

A member of the Institute of Recruitment Consultants, Andy has been celebrated for his services to recruitment and the rail sector throughout his career, most notably through receiving the Highly Commended Recruiter of the Year Award 2012.

Fun fact: Andy has completed a number of extreme challenges including and iron man, and the London Marathon to raise money for the children’s charity, Railway Children, raising over £12,000 in total. 

Paul Merton

Group Operations Director

Specialty: Telecommunications and Mechanical & Electrical

Paul has built an extensive network of clients across telecommunications, mechanical and electrical sectors within the Network Rail and London Underground infrastructures.

His expert and diverse experience within the rail industry enables him to assist with any level of recruitment assignment from individual requirements through to the provision of large teams of site operatives.

As Operations Director, Paul is responsible for the continual development of the company’s compliance and operational systems and ensures that Advance-TRS conforms with Link-Up procedures, government regulations, and client processes; all in all giving clients and candidates the confidence that our systems are robust enough to support any service they require.

Paul oversees the functional operations of the business and ensures all aspect of the company work together to achieve the best results and deliver for our clients and candidates alike.

Fun fact: Paul enjoys running, cycling, and mountain biking and skiing, has participated in Olympic distance triathlons, the London Marathon and bungee jumped out of a cable car in the Alps. 

Carolyn Kaye

Group Finance Director

Specialty: Financial Management

Carolyn is our Finance Director, overseeing all aspects of the company’s finances and contractor payroll. Having completed her accountancy training in the owner managed business services department at Ernst & Young in London, she is an ACA qualified accountant with over 20 years' service industry experience.

Fun fact: Carolyn has passed her RYA Power Boat Level 2 Certificate and is now qualified to drive motor boats.

Monique Choudhuri

Head of Training & Development

Specialty: Training

Training specialist Monique, has built up a portfolio of blue chip clients including British Airways, BskyB, Oracle and Fircroft Engineering. Monique is a professional, creative and highly passionate trainer and mentor with expert experience in Learning, Development and Consultancy. Her breadth of experience and engaging personality are paramount in helping the business succeed.

Monique’s own management and leadership experience has been gained within the Telecommunications, IT, Retail and Recruitment Sectors. Deeply committed to people development, Monique’s communication and engagement skills speak for themselves.

Fun fact: Monique comes from a musical family and is herself a keen singer; she can regularly be found on stage singing and performing.

Paul Dredge

Managing Director - Water & Utilities

Specialty: Water, Utilities & Energy

Since joining Advance-TRS Paul has been responsible for launching the company’s Water and Utilities business. As Managing Director for Advance Water and Utilities Paul is responsible for developing and driving the business, providing skilled consultants to some of the most exciting infrastructure projects across the country.

“It’s an exciting time for the company” says Paul Dredge. “The business has built strong foundations so the challenge we have now is to build the structure for growth to enable us to maximise the opportunities we have.”

Working within a close-knit workplace was also something hugely important to Paul. “Everyone has an opportunity to influence and shape the business which isn’t possible at a large multi-national company, so it’s refreshing to return to that kind of environment.”

Paul is well-known for his strong focus upon quality, integrity and long-term customer relationships and has built great experience recruiting within the rail and energy sectors which he is now using to drive forward the business into new sectors.

Fun fact: Paul was once an extra in a pop video for a famous Japanese pop star.

Paul Scott

Non-Executive Director

Specialty: Business Development

Paul is a strategic business consultant to Advance-TRS and a non-executive director of the board. His extensive recruitment experience, principally within rail and the built environment, provides the sales team and Directors with invaluable guidance, helping the company grow from strength to strength.

Paul was formerly a director at AndersElite where he helped grow the company from £17m annual turnover to £89m in just 6 years. He then moved on to be a co-founder and director of Fusion People Ltd in 2004 where he was able to grow the company from zero to £44m turnover in just 5 years and then to £120m in 10 years. There Paul was personally responsible for designing and successfully implementing a £50m contract for non-permanent labour within Tubelines in 2015, transitioning in excess of 450 incumbent workers from a number of outgoing suppliers.

“After successfully exiting Fusion People in 2014, I had the relative luxury of choosing what I did and who I got involved with. Andy and his team at Advance-TRS are almost a perfect mix of professionalism and culture with extremely high moral standards and a true ‘delivery culture.’ I am excited by their success to date and the potential going forward. In business trust is the foundation for all things good.”

Fun fact: In his spare time, Paul likes to immerse himself in his love for sport; golf and motor racing. 

Sam Jennings

Divisional Manager

Specialty: Signalling, Electrification & Power

Sam is our Lead Consultant in Signalling, focusing specifically on the Engineering and Project Manager market on mainline and London Underground infrastructures. Sam has an extensive background in rail and engineering recruitment and prior to heading up the Signalling division at Advance-TRS, Sam spent five years recruiting white collar rail engineers and further three years running blockades, possessions and daily labour supply on safety critical positions for the rail industry.

"What I like most about recruiting," says Sam, "is understanding the challenges our clients' projects face and successfully delivering the critical resources they need in a safe and timely manner."

Fun fact: Sam ran a sub four hour marathon only 12 months after snapping his cruciate ligament!

James Ayres

Divisional Manager

Specialty: Project Services

James joined Advance-TRS in 2013 and is enthusiastic about the company’s future. Having built up experience in sales and IT recruitment James has now fully immersed himself within the world of railway recruitment; originally making the decision to move after seeing how much traction the industry was gaining. James is a hard grafter and wants to help drive the business forward for years to come.

James is a people person and feels a career in recruitment was always destined. His desire, passion and drive for success really show how dedicated he is to the cause.

“I endeavour to make the recruitment process as easy as possible for the client whilst ensuring that every candidate has been placed with the right organisation” says James.

Fun fact: outside work James enjoys playing football, regularly competing at 11-a-Side and 5-a-Side levels. 

Ben Shayegan

Senior Recruitment Consultant

Specialty: Telecommunications/M&E

Since joining Advance-TRS as a Specialist Resourcer in early 2014 Ben has rapidly moved up through the ranks to become our Senior Recruitment Consultant specialising in Telecoms and M&E. He has relished the challenge of working within the scarcely skilled rail industry, and embraced the opportunity to grow and develop new skills.

Ben is responsible for working with existing clients and candidates, gathering a full understanding of their needs to match their immediate requirements. He also supports the business’s rapid development, engaging new clients and sourcing skilled candidates. Ben brings a determined, confident and success-minded attitude to his role, and has built strong relationships with both clients and candidates alike.

Fun fact: Before his transition into recruitment, Ben studied electrical installation and worked at a flagship fashion store in London. 

Louise Oldham

Key Account Manager

Specialty: Client Relationships

Louise works as a dedicated Account Manager for several key Clients, acting as their main representative from Advance-TRS. Her main duties include consistently providing a highly professional service, ensuring that Service Level Agreements and Key Performance Indicators are achieved whilst enhancing the Client relationships and opportunities.

Louise has a proven track record in the sector and understands the importance and impact building strong relationships with Client Account representatives has for the company. She is a passionate, personable who listens carefully and thoroughly to employers, to understand their business needs so that she is able to find the perfect solution. Louise always offers a professional and transparent service to all Clients and loves to meet new people and looks to develop great relationships with all the people she works with. Louise always remains focused on giving exceptional customer service, is reliable, trustworthy and can offer excellent account management to suit all business requirements.

Fun fact: Louise once featured as an extra in the Inbetweeners Movie! 

Alan Durrant MIRP CertRP

Recruitment Director - Property Services

Specialty: FM & Property Services

Prior to joining Advance-TRS, Alan worked in the recruitment sector for 5 years before being headhunted to work for a residential block & estate management firm. Although his love for recruitment meant he moved back into the sector after a few years, his experience and connections have allowed him to work closely with leading clients within the property sector delivering a prestige service. “I enjoy working closely with clients within the property sector, as I can fully relate to the daily challenges that they face from residents and clients and believe that I can identify the strongest candidates to support my clients deliver and grow” says Alan.

Fun fact: Alan is a keen footballer and played for Crystal Palace FC when he was younger.

Josh Hill

Recruitment Consultant

Specialty: Signalling, Electrification & Power

With over 4 years recruitment experience Josh works placing white and blue collar signalling professionals in both permanent and contract roles.

Since joining Advance-TRS he has been instrumental in delivering a team of 120 contractors for a successful first possession weekend on the 4LM project, the largest signalling works on the London underground.

Josh explains, “It’s a great atmosphere working at Advance-TRS, I really like the people I work with and how we are regularly encouraged to get out and meet with candidates and clients.”

Fun fact: Josh followed the England team to France for the EURO 2016 championship

Mark Harrild

Recruitment Consultant

Specialty: Health & Safety / Procurement

Mark is responsible for sourcing and placing candidates into Health and Safety and Procurement roles across the rail network. Before moving into recruitment in 2014 Mark spent over 15 years in procurement himself, working for small engineering companies and big defence contractors alike; sourcing everything from stationary to bullet proof armour.

“I really like that Advance-TRS has such strong connections with all the major rail contractors and infrastructure projects across the UK. It is great placing candidates on such significant projects.” Mark adds, “As someone relatively new to the sector it is great to work with so many experienced rail recruiters and learn from some of the best!”

Fun fact: You will find Mark in the gym every morning at 5am, explaining how he manages to eat his way through nearly 4,000 calories a day! 

Becky Randall

Head of HR/Admin & Director’s PA

Specialty: Administration & HR

Becky is responsible for developing Advance-TRS’s HR department and works in partnership with our Operations Director, Office Coordinator and Compliance Coordinator to keep the office running smoothly.

Having built up a career in administration Becky continues to develop and is currently studying to complete her CIPD to become fully qualified in Human Resources. Becky enjoys working at such a fast growing company and revels in actions that can make a direct impact.

Fun fact: Before joining Advance-TRS, Becky fulfilled her lifelong dream of travelling and enjoyed 5 months of trekking across Australia, New Zealand, Bali and the Gili Islands.

Katie Robinson

Office Coordinator

Specialty: Admin and Office Support

Katie is our office administrator and often the first person you will speak to when you call the Advance-TRS office. Katie answers the phones, is responsible for keeping candidate profiles up to date with relevant information and formatting candidates CVs to send onto clients.  

“I really like the friendly atmosphere at Advance-TRS” says Katie, “it’s really exciting working for such a fast paced and rapidly expanding company.”

Fun fact: Katie once came one digit away from winning £1.2 million on the lottery. 

Lauren Hawkins

Compliance Coordinator

Specialty: Compliance

Lauren has worked in recruitment consultancies since 2008; starting as a rail administrator she has worked her way up joining compliance as a Compliance Executive before being promoted to Safety and Quality Representative. Lauren has since completed her Nebosh General Certificate and joined Advance-TRS in 2016.

As Compliance Coordinator Lauren oversees all of Advance-TRS’s HSQE compliance, from writing policies and procedures to executing actions recommended by audits.

Fun fact: Lauren likes to keep fit with Pole Fitness and regularly attends workshops with professionals.

Vickie Ellis

Accounts Manager

Specialty: Accounts

Vickie has fantastic experience in purchase ledger, sales ledger and credit control. She has extensive knowledge of the day-to-day running of the accounts department and relishes the variety involved in her role. As Accounts Manager Vickie is responsible for ensuring all our contractors and invoices are paid in a timely manner. 

Vickie has completed her AAT level 4 Diploma in accountancy and is well on her way to becoming a fully qualified CIMA accountant.

Fun fact: Vickie trained at Merrist Wood in Animal Care before turning her hand to Finance and has a house rabbit called Lola. 

Lucy O'Farrell

Accounts Assistant

Specialty: Accounts

Lucy joined Advance-TRS in 2015 as our Apprentice Accounts Junior, since joining the company she has completed her Level 3 AAT qualification and is now working towards her Level 4 qualification as Accounts Assistant. 
In her role at Advance-TRS, Lucy is responsible for processing payroll and invoices, in addition to a whole host of various administrative duties. Lucy collates and inputs relevant data from timesheets onto Contractor Payroll to draw weekly figures together and is responsible for the monitoring of PO number funds and sending out statements to clients on a monthly basis.
Lucy enjoys the variety of her role as well as the ability to put her college education into practice solving tangible problems in the workplace. “Overall my favourite aspect of working at Advance-TRS is the encouraging support and mentoring I am receiving through working with my fellow colleagues,” says Lucy.

Adrian Robertson

Principal Consultant

Specialty: Commercial

Adrian has joined the project services team of Advance-TRS with a remit to develop the commercial division . He specialises in the recruitment of Commercial Managers/Administrators, Quantity Surveyors, Estimators, Contract Managers/Administrators, Cost Managers and Bid/Tender Managers across all part of the rail industry.

Prior to joining Advance-TRS, Adrian spent nearly 20 years in Oil & Gas recruitment where he developed a strong reputation for integrity and commitment to his clients and candidates. Results-driven and tenacious, Adrian is well-versed in the setting, monitoring and delivery of financial targets against budgets and  driving sales through skillful relationship building.

Fun fact: Adrian trains Muay Thai at least once a week and when weather allows indulges his passion for wakeboarding.

Stephen Aluko-Olokun

Principal Consultant

Specialty: Construction

Stephen heads up our Construction division here at Advance-TRS, he is an experienced recruiter with a successful track record who prides himself on excellent customer service and service delivery.  As a specialist within this sector he has a successful history of placing white collar professionals in permanent and contract roles. His passion & talent for matching candidates to client requirements enables him and his team to find the best solution for each opportunity. 

Fun fact: Stephen used to play professional football for Watford and can sail a catamaran.

Sean Allen

Recruitment Consultant

Specialty: FM & Property Services

Sean works closely with clients and candidates to gain a clear understating of their key specifications and requirements before finding the best solution for both parties. 

He is passionate about helping his clients realise the value of using niche recruitment specialists to grow their business. His personal approach to recruitment allows him to continually deliver successful and timely results for clients and candidates alike. 

Ella Gardiner

Marketing Manager

Specialty: Marketing

As Marketing Manager Ella oversees oversees all elements of the company's marketing and communications & supporting the business development and training and development teams to achieve business aims. She works with the Board of Directors to develop, recommend and implement the marketing strategy to further the company's business objectives. 

Ella works closely with the Marketing Coordinator to manage social media campaigns across multiple channels and support candidate attraction and retention campaigns.our events, editorial, copywriting, advertising campaigns and all areas of PR and branding. 

Prior to joining Advance-TRS, Ella headed up Marketing for a regional philanthropic organisation where she led a full company rebrand and managed a range of PR campaigns and events including a series of 10th Anniversary celebrations. 

Fun fact: Before starting her career in Marketing, Ella completed training to become a Flight Attendant on private jets. 

Paul Metcalfe

Chief Executive Officer

Specialty: Business Development

Paul Metcalfe is a renowned industry veteran with a career spent managing recruitment companies spanning more than 25 years. Before joining the Advance-TRS team in 2017 he was the co-founder and former managing director of one of the industry’s largest recruitment businesses and was instrumental in growing the business from zero to £150m in just 12 years. 

Metcalfe’s unique industry expertise will help take the company to the next level, his main remit is to help Advance-TRS sustain its growth plans through a series of mergers, acquisitions and organic business growth.
“When I decided to move on from Fusion People I spoke to several recruitment businesses but was particularly taken by Andy’s ambition and energy. His drive, together with Advance’s culture fits in well with my personal vision as it offers recruiters the opportunity to develop their careers by offering a consultative approach to the clients rather than just being job fillers.” 

“Personally, I take particular enjoyment from growing and developing businesses and I truly believe I can use my experience to support Advance-TRS achieve its ambitious growth plans. I am excited for what my future with Advance brings.”

Peter Nash

Internal Recruitment Manager

Specialty: Internal Recruitment

Peter has over 8 years recruitment experience in a diverse range of sectors including IT, Telecoms, Hospitality and Commercial and has joined our team to lead internal recruitment. As Internal Recruitment Manager Peter is responsible for sourcing talented and enthusiastic people to join the Advance team. Be it back-office support, senior managers or sales consultants, Peter relishes the opportunity to bring new people into the business. 

“I really enjoy the cohesive and supportive atmosphere in the office. Everyone works together as a team to achieve our goals. It's really refreshing,” says Peter.

“Everyone mucks in and contributes to the company’s success which makes for a fun and encouraging environment. I am always on the lookout for talented and motivated individuals looking to join a fast paced and exciting office and available for a confidential chat.” 

Carina Holmes

Recruitment Consultant

Specialty: Water & Utilities

Carina is a specialist recruiter for our water & utilities team, working a wide range of roles from skilled labour to business development managers. She relishes the variety in her work and really enjoys the opportunity to work with such a wide spectrum of people to find the best solutions for them. 

With over 6 years petrochemical recruitment experience followed by 7 years front line work with the Department of Work and Pensions and has successfully applied all her acquired skills and knowledge to her role with our Water & Utilities team.  

“I really enjoy the variety of my role at Advance, no two roles are the same. It is particularly exciting to work in such a rapidly growing company where there is such a strong sense of team.”  

Michelle Shepherd

Accounts Assistant

Specialty: Accounts

Michelle is responsible for managing and processing contractor timesheets to ensure all our contractors are paid correctly and on time. She is often the first port of call for candidate queries and chases missing timesheets and also supports the accounts team by data inputting figures on management spreadsheets.  

Michelle is currently a trainee accountant, studying towards her AAT qualification part-time in the evenings and weekends.  

“Everyone here is really friendly,” says Michelle “the team are really supportive and help me to develop in my career and personally.” 

Beth Kennedy

Office Coordinator

Specialty: Admin & Office Support

Beth is our office coordinator and often the first person you will speak to when you call the Advance-TRS office. Beth answers the phones, is responsible for keeping candidate profiles up to date with relevant information and formatting candidates CVs to send onto clients. She also helps out the whole team with admin support where possible. Beth is really driven and self-motivated. She has already completed NVQs in Business Admin and IT User Skills and recently started her diploma in Business Management. 

“I really enjoy the challenges that come with working in such a busy and diverse office,” says Beth. “Everyone is really friendly and helpful, creating a great work environment.” 

Join Us!

If you think you have what it takes to make a difference in the recruitment sector we’d love to hear from you. We’re always on the look out for people with great client and candidate facing skills, great telephone manner and the ability to conduct commercial negotiations.

Please send your CV in the first instance to

We look forward to hearing from you.

Referral Scheme

If you know someone who will benefit from a professional recruitment service, why not help them out and refer them to advance?

At the same time as helping a friend or colleague advance their career options, you could earn £250 in gift vouchers.

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