Latest Rail News

03.07.13

Salford training academy 'really good news' - Cable

A new training academy in Salford has been opened today by business secretary Vince Cable. The rail skills academy, named The Boilerhouse, was officially opened to its first apprentices.

The facility will see up to 258 apprentices trained in rail, power and technology by Vital Skills Training. It includes IT suites, gas and electricity metering rooms, classrooms and workshops.

Cable said: “I think the great number of apprenticeships at the moment is one of the biggest things we’re doing in government because the country has a chronic shortage of skills. I’m going around the country at the moment, and firms can’t expand because they can’t get skilled workers. In engineering we’ve got a really serious problem, its something we’ve got to overcome and the only way we can do it is to expand apprenticeship training.”

He described a “really positive” change in attitude concerning the status of apprenticeships over the past few years, but added: “We need an awful lot more people doing apprenticeships.”

Greater diversity in apprenticeships, particularly in engineering, is also something “we’ve got to work towards”.

“Everything I’ve seen here is really good news; lots of young people focusing very much on the skills we need. The rail industry is expanding, with massive electrification, the Crossrail project, Thameslink, HS2. There’s going to be enormous demand for trained people in the rail industry both on the track, working with new engines, manufacturing, and in the power sector.”

Lawrence Dobie, director of education and skills at Vital, (pictured) added: “The Boilerhouse is a state of the art, contemporary learning space which provides students with the opportunity to use the latest technology and learn new skills in an inspirational setting.

“We are very proud Vince Cable was able to open the academy and meet some of the students beginning their careers at the new academy.”

RTM was reporting live from the event – see updates from @rtmnews and at www.facebook.com/railtechnologymagazine

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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