Latest Rail News


Scheme to create 30,000 rail and road apprenticeships

The government is pledging to create 30,000 new apprenticeships in the rail and road sectors by the end of this Parliament.

The scheme, announced by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP this morning, will be backed by by Crossrail’s chair, Terry Morgan.

McLoughlin said: "Training our rail and road workforce is essential if we want to build a transport network fit for the future.

"I want to see every part of Britain benefiting from a growing economy and that is why our investment in transport won’t just help people get around, it will help them get on."

He also commented on Morgan's appointment, saying he has "a track record of building skills in the transport sector".

"He is ideally positioned to work with industry to deliver a transport and infrastructure skills strategy," he added.

Morgan will be responsible for leading the development a transport and infrastructure skills strategy "to help the transport industry ensure a continuous pipeline of skilled workers".

He said he is "very much looking forward" for the project and added: "It’s vital that we develop the workforce of the future, ensuring the transport industry has the right people in the right place at the right time, and crucially with the right skills, to deliver this unprecedented programme of infrastructure work."

As a result of the new measure, the rail engineering advance technician apprenticeship standard, backed by the National Skills Academy Railway Engineering (NSARE), has been given the green light.

The apprenticeship covers construction, maintenance and renewal across seven pathways as part of the advanced technician level standard, equivalent to level 4 education.

The pathways themselves cover track, overhead lines, electrification, signalling, telecoms, traction and rolling stock and rail systems.

Skills minister, Nick Boles, said: “Businesses are better placed than anyone to train the next generation of workers and will help us deliver 3 million high quality apprenticeships by 2020. By designing apprenticeships, organisations like the NSARE and their group of employers are ensuring that young talented people develop the skills needed to progress up the career ladder and help drive businesses forward.”

Neil Robertson, chief executive for NSARE, added: “There are skills shortages, now and forecast across the rail industry as a result of new infrastructure, electrification and renewal programmes combined with an ageing workforce.

“The introduction of new technology is driving a requirement of higher level skills across all engineering disciplines. The advanced technician apprenticeships will provide a route to address these challenges for the industry whilst providing great career opportunities for those with A level or equivalent prior learning. It is an important step in the rail industry ‘apprenticeship to fellowship’ career paths.”

The scheme is part of a wider government pledge to “radically boost apprenticeship numbers and drive up quality of courses” across all sectors in England.

The pledge, backed by prime minister David Cameron, will give businesses a say on how the apprenticeships are run and what they offer.

Employers will also be asked today for their views on a new apprenticeship levy, set to be introduced in 2017, to increase investment in training and make sure it meets their needs.

Employers who put in funds towards training will have “direct spending power over it”.

Cameron also pledge to take a company’s apprenticeship offer into account when awarding large government contracts, as well as publishing new ‘industry standards’ to ensure apprentices have the particular skills companies need.

The “radical changes” to boost apprenticeships seek to build on the 2.3 million places created under the last government to “make sure that young people have the skills and expertise that employers demand”.

(Top image: Network Rail apprentices)


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

23/05/2019Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

Scrapping HS2 would be a “disaster” and would undermine Britain’s “national prosperity for decades to come,” more t... more >
Network Rail unveils new regional managing directors

23/05/2019Network Rail unveils new regional managing directors

Network Rail has announced five new regional managing directors as part of its “evolution” towards a more passenger-focused approach.... more >
£800m worth of rail haulage contracts awarded by Network Rail

22/05/2019£800m worth of rail haulage contracts awarded by Network Rail

Network Rail has awarded contracts for rail haulage and the operations of its engineering trains and seasonal treatment services for Control Peri... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News


Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

23/05/2019Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

The Midlands 30-year plan will deliver many economic benefits and will need a wide and diverse supply chain to deliver some of the key projects. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

13/05/2019The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch and chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), gives her view on the state of the UK’s ... more >
NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

13/05/2019NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) chief executive Neil Robertson returns to write for RTM, this time, to assess the digital skills shor... more >
Delivering cost-effective electrification

13/05/2019Delivering cost-effective electrification

David Clarke, technical director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), sets out the findings of a new report on how rail electrification can... more >
5G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

13/05/20195G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

Simon Holmes, group head of digital (engineering) at FirstGroup, introduces us to the 5G solution being delivered for the rail sector.  ... more >