October 23 2015

National Training Academy for Rail opens

Rail Minister Claire Perry opened the new National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR) in Northampton this week, which has been designed to train the UK’s next generation of rail engineers.

The National Training Academy for Rail in Northampton cost £7 million to launch and was joint funded by the UK Government and rolling stock manufacturer Siemens. The facility will provide training for rail technicians, engineers and managers, and will be a national hub for rail engineering excellence.

In order to provide this high standard of training NTAR has invested in modern technology. Those who undergo training at the facility will be able to make use of the latest digital signalling equipment and a deconstructed train. One of the highlights is a virtual reality and 3D simulation room, where Oculus Rift headsets will be used to look at how different components work together.

Government looks to grow UK’s infrastructure

This is a further sign that the Department of Transport, and the UK Government as a whole, is looking towards growth in the country’s infrastructure.

As well as pledging budget towards new construction projects, such as Andrew Jones’ announcement of billions to be invested in our highways , investment in training centres demonstrates a commitment towards the long-term growth of the UK’s infrastructure. The Department for Transport is working with Crossrail chair Terry Morgan to develop a transport and infrastructure skills strategy, and the launch of NTAR supports this.

Speaking about the launch of this new academy, Rail Minister Claire Perry said, “The opening of the National Training Academy for Rail is a major milestone towards delivering a network of transport infrastructure skills colleges and training academies.

“This new facility – and more like it – are just what the country needs to ensure we develop a workforce with the advanced skills required to build a transport network fit for the future.”

Skills Minister Nick Boles said, “Industry-led training will ensure that learners are getting the skills employers want, while many rail firms have also designed new apprenticeship standards for roles like rail engineering technician to deliver the skills needed for UK rail to expand here and internationally.”

Read more about the National Training Academy for Rail launch here.

Rail engineering apprenticeships with McGinley

McGinley’s training programme, Asset.McGinley, is something we are very proud of. Our work to ensure the country has the skilled staff it needs has also seen us train the next generation of rail engineers and managers, with our ground-breaking Rail Engineering Apprenticeship Programme with Coleg y Cymoedd just recently celebrating its first anniversary.

As well as teaching core rail engineering skills, the Centre of Excellence for Railway Training within the college’s Nantgarw campus provides enhancement of a number of transferable skills, such as building works, electrical trades, and health and safety awareness, which can be migrated across to the railway environment.

Since its beginning, 31 apprentices recruited by us followed the Apprenticeship in Railtrack Engineering, a Level 2 qualification. Currently they have moved on to the real work phase to hone their skills and work towards completing the competence elements of the NVQ2.

Wayne Chawner, one of our railway apprenticeship course tutors, said: “The railway apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity for these young people to work on a real life replicated track with proper components, in a very safe environment. This course will provide the learners with first-hand experience with huge career advancements in the rail industry on offer. We have just finished the first week of the apprenticeship, and I have been so impressed at how eager and engaged the learners are.”

New facilities are also being built as part of our training programme and are due to open in 2016. They will provide the necessary equipment and learning environment needed to ensure that the students who undertake these apprenticeships are led to real jobs.

Head to our railway jobs and recruitment page for more information about specialist rail recruitment with McGinley.

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