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17.11.15

IMechE buys training company that specialises in retraining ex-prisoners

In an effort to tackle the engineering skills shortage, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has bought training company Amber Train, which provides traineeships and apprenticeships to those just out of education or towards the end of prison sentences.

The institution will now help equip trainees to work on the tracks for Network Rail’s sub-contractors so they can achieve City and Guilds qualifications.

Stephen Tetlow MBE, IMechE’s chief executive, said: “This is a very exciting move for the institution. Amber Train is not only equipping people to pursue valuable, worthwhile careers, but is providing much needed skills for the UK rail sector.

“This move will allow us to build on the company’s hugely impressive work, expanding not into the rail industry but also into other engineering sectors where there are critical shortages.”

Once Amber Train trainees complete an initial training programme, they are placed with an employer and supported until they complete an NVQ Level 2 apprenticeship.

Though the company’s headquarters are in Nottinghamshire, it has nationwide activities at a combination of training centres on heritage railway sites – which provide the practical training environment – and prison education units – which include training centres and railway structures.

The acquisition is the latest in a considerable momentum to plug the skills gap, with training centres and rail colleges opening or expected shortly in Northampton, Avonmouth, Newcastle, Doncaster and Birmingham among others. By next year, Network Rail will have finished work on all seven of its own national training centres, which are located at Basingstoke, York, Swindon, Walsall, Bristol, Larbert in Scotland, and Paddock Wood in Kent.

Crossrail has also recently re-located the independent organisation Women into Construction to its Canary Wharf headquarters to recruit more women into the industry and mend the contracting skills gap.

Comments

Maurice A Hutson MBE C.Eng. Member   18/11/2015 at 14:03

Well Done - Our Institution is to be congratulated on the purchase of Amber Trains an on the job training company. It will give encouragement to young and old to gain qualifications supported by the Institution. It is hoped other learned bodies will follow this example.

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