The UK rail industry needs to look to its future workforce. In 2012 it was estimated that there are some 100,000 people working in Track, Signalling & Telecommunications, Electrification & Plant and Traction & Rolling Stock. It was also identified that approximately 11% of those people could retire as early as 2018.
This poses a significant problem unless we as an industry act now to promote the wide and diverse range of exciting career opportunities that the UK rail industry has to offer.
In order to help address this workforce challenge, Rail Technology Magazine launched the UK Rail Industry Training Trust (UKRITT), a charity that reaches out to 11-19 year olds across the country through its national 'Gen Y Rail' competition which inspires students to consider a career in the rail industry through education, engagement, innovation and STEM.
We have taken the initiative on this because, like you, we are passionate about the future prosperity of the UK rail industry, the wider UK economy and young people in the United Kingdom.
'Gen Y Rail' comprises a series of regional heats across the country culminating in a national final. At each event, the students are split into teams and given a rail engineering challenge to solve, after which they present their solutions to a Dragons’ Den-style panel of rail industry judges. One team from each age group from each region will be put through to a national final, and the winning team from each age group will be crowned 'UK Champions'. Students also receive the British Science Association CREST Discovery Award for their participation in Gen Y Rail activities.
Throughout the competition students will:
- Discover the wide and diverse range of career opportunities on offer in the innovative and dynamic rail industry.
- Compete with their peers to develop solutions to engineering challenges faced by the industry today and present to a Dragons' Den style panel of judges.
- Engage with local and national employers, colleges and universities.
- Interact with young graduates and apprentices working in the rail industry today.
If you are a teacher and would like to enter a team click here.
As well as donations from the industry and revenue generated through sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities at the 'Gen Y Rail' events, Rail Technology Magazine’s managing director Roy V Rowlands made a personal donation of £5,000 to the charity to kick-start it. He also went on to donate a further 20% of all revenue generated from the inaugural UK Rail Industry Awards, making his personal donation to the charity a staggering £65,796.35.
How can you inspire the future leaders of the UK rail industry at a 'Gen Y Rail' event near you?
- Employers can exhibit at 'Gen Y Rail' and promote the wide range of exciting career opportunities on offer to 11 - 19 year olds across the country.
- Colleges and Universities can promote their range of relevant courses to students interested in a career in engineering.
- Volunteer on the day and mentor the teams – play a vital role in assisting students in developing solutions to engineering challenges, to be presented to a Dragons’ Den style judging panel.
- Become a speaker – give a lively and engaging presentation on your career and inspire the students to pursue a career in the rail industry.
- Join the Dragons' Den style judging panel – assess the presentations from students on the day and choose the winners.
- Make a donation and secure the future.
There are many other ways in which you can support and make a contribution to the charity. To find out how contact Trustee Roy Rowlands on 0044(0)161 833 6320 or click here to submit your enquiry.