Latest Rail News

13.09.16

Skills swap: GWR and Amey apprentices trade places

Apprentices from Great Western Railway (GWR) and Amey will be swapping places throughout this month as part of a “rare” cross-organisational skills exchange between the operator and the engineering consultancy company.

Those employed by the operator will now get a chance to find out what happens behind the scenes across the rail network, including working on the Great Western modernisation project and on heavy overhauls on high-speed trains, plant and hydraulics.

For Amey apprentices, this will provide a chance to work hands-on on the frontline operation of the network, helping deliver 1,500 services a day through 280 stations.

Steve Jones, regional apprentice manager for the operator, said the programme has been successful so far and could be further expanded in the future.

“Both companies have invested in this scheme together with training programmes to develop their skills in engineering. There is a 100% commitment from GWR and Amey to educate and develop the training needs and life skills of all our apprentices,” he continued.

“The scheme is underway and initial reports with feedback suggest it is successful and hugely popular with the apprentices taking part. It is a unique scheme at the moment, but we are looking to extend and explore the scheme even further in the future.”

Amey’s group HR and communications director, Ian Deninson, added that the skills swap is “all about demonstrating our commitment to developing people”, providing a “rare example of how different organisations can work together to provide diverse, dynamic learning opportunities” that will contribute towards apprentices’ NVQ Level 3 qualifications.

There has been noticeably greater investment and attention given to the importance of apprenticeships in the rail industry of late, particularly with the upcoming introduction of an apprenticeship levy and workforce target.

In August, for example, London Midland adopted the new apprenticeship standard put out by the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), and Network Rail recently decided to increase its apprentice intake this year to meet increased demand.

But this particular swap scheme seems to be an industry first – could other operators and rail companies follow suit?

 

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