August marks the NRL Group’s 40th anniversary, as we reflect on how our Group has changed over the decades, from its size and scale to the services delivered to clients. A great deal has changed since we established the NRL Group in 1983, and we’re proud to look back at some of the key milestones – including the evolution of our Workforce Solutions business Linx.

Extending our Non-Destructive Testing expertise

When NRL was first formed you’ll have found a small team based in Cumbria delivering radiography Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) services on nuclear grade mechanical and piping components. It’s a technical service we’ve continued to deliver since we welcomed our first customer, whom we still support today.

Over the years we’ve been called upon to provide this safety critical service to support a large number of nuclear projects, including becoming the first contracting company to extensively develop the use of Ytterbium 169 and Selenium 75 within our NDT programmes.

Keen to support the next generation of nuclear new build power generation and SMR technology, in February 2020 we established a new Ultrasonic qualification and inspection division in Bristol to diversify our NDT operations. This milestone development in our NDT business was recognised by the Energy Industry Council (EIC) when we were crowned winners of the Diversification category at their 2021 EIC Awards.

Growing our Recruitment expertise

Shortly after establishing our NDT business, we recognised an opportunity to set-up recruitment operations – after being called on by a client to help recruit the skilled workers they needed for a project.

NRL Recruitment was born, and it’s fair to say it has evolved extensively since 1985. From one office in Cumbria to 8 regional UK branches and 2 overseas in Egypt and Ireland. Alongside this geographical expansion, our engineering expertise has grown, as we supported construction and infrastructure projects; oil, gas and petrochemical; and the continued evolution of power generation from traditional to greener energy. Having spanned four decades in the energy sector, it’s extremely rewarding to be able to support candidates to transfer their skills to work on wind farms, energy from waste plants, hydrogen and carbon capture projects.

With the introduction of our International division, thanks to our acquisition of Petrolic in 2013, we have continued to grow our international recruitment expertise. We now work with clients and secure candidates to work in 22 countries, including dedicated recruitment teams supporting Egypt, Ireland and Norway. Thanks to the continued growth of our international recruitment expertise, we are delighted to be listed by Staffing Industry Analysts’ as a top 20 largest engineering staffing firm globally.

Building on our Rail expertise

In 2001, we recognised an opportunity to provide rail maintenance services to clients, and our Rail contracting business was established. Working up and down the country’s infrastructure to provide asset inspection, ultrasonic testing, grinding and maintenance services, they work through the day and night to keep rail infrastructure in good working condition.

Together, our teams based in Barnsley and Falkirk support multiple contracting teams who work on the tracks for our clients – providing ground support in line with our high standards and ensuring they’re always identifying the best methods and utilising the most effective technology applications to ensure work is delivered efficiently and safely.

Establishing our Workforce Solutions expertise

In 2016, following extensive conversations with clients around their frustrations and limitations of their recruitment supply chain, we identified an opportunity to introduce a new hybrid solution to challenge the managed service workforce model. Linx was formed to provide an independent and bespoke recruitment solutions to clients and take an extensive view of their recruitment supply chain to identify efficiencies, cost savings, compliance improvements and enhanced communication to make their supply chain work better for them.

Over the years we’ve continued to evolve this service offering, introducing new compliance services to meet industry challenges such as IR35, and helping to support our clients with agile and responsive workforce solutions to meet their business and project needs.

Welcoming language expertise

In 2022, we were pleased to welcome new colleagues following the acquisition of CD Group, including their Eldon Bureau business. Having provided translation and interpreting services to clients since 1965, the team work with a community of talented and experienced linguists to provide a range of language services to clients – always delivered to the highest standard of accuracy and precision. These solutions ensure those in need have a voice in crucial conversations and that businesses looking to trade internationally can negotiate important deals and provide all the technical documentation needed to support operations in more than 135 languages.

In recent months we were proud to rebrand this important service offering to NRL Language Solutions.

The NRL Group at 40

To mark our 40th anniversary we’ve launched a celebratory page on our Group website, where you can see how our organisation has grown over the year and how we’re supporting 40 charities in our 40th year in business.