NSAR launches National Training Partnership to support world-class career opportunities in rail
The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) today announced the launch of the National Training Partnership, a new skills initiative to help solve the growing demand for new talent across the rail sector. The National Training Partnership will bring together NSAR’s newly formed National Network of Colleges and Training Providers, the Training Alliance and Quality Assurance provision and will support the UK rail industry in achieving an integrated approach to education, professional development and training.
The National Training Partnership was launched at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London and endorsed by the Rail Civil Engineer’s Association. In his keynote, Mike Brown, MVO, TfL Commissioner and NSAR and STAT Chair called for employers and other members of the rail industry attending the launch to support this new integrated approach to attracting, developing and retaining tomorrow’s talent.
Mike Brown said: “As the Chair of the NSAR Board, what I am pleased to be able to say is that a huge amount is being done on skills development, ranging from the development of a full suite of apprenticeship standards, provision and availability of skills intelligence on the requirements of the future workforce, quality assurance of training provision and the creation of a national training partnership which will become the supply chain for education, skills and professional development.
Speaking at the launch, Neil Robertson, CEO of NSAR said: “The National Training Partnership is a huge step forward in optimising training provision and improving rail employment opportunities. I’m delighted to see the industry coming together to meet the increasing skills demands of modern rail through world-class training for new apprentices and post-graduates crucial to securing the UK’s long-term future success.”
NSAR recently established its National Network of Colleges and Training Providers and will comprise of selected FE Colleges, partner universities, Development Centres, specialist training academies and NSAR Quality Assured training providers. Through the Colleges and Training Providers which NSAR has forecast will be required to meet predicted workforce demands, the Training’s Partnership’s aim is to secure a steady long-term flow of talented people entering the rail industry through an apprenticeship.
Scott Johnson, Head of Newcastle College Rail Academy who recently joined the National Training Partnership said: “Becoming a member of the NSAR National Network of Colleges is not only a massive privilege, but an opportunity for the Newcastle College Rail Academy to become the recognised centre of excellence for rail education and training in the North of England. The Key to the continued success of the Rail Academy is the close links forged with NSAR and industry. Employers are at the heart of everything we do, from providing work opportunities to our learners, contributing and informing our curriculum and supporting with professional advice and guidance”.
Neil Thomas, Vice Principal – Curriculum & Standards, Dudley College added: “Dudley College is delighted to be working as part of the National Network of Colleges as we see this as a further extension of our employer collaboration in an area of high skill demand locally. We have a long history of delivery of high-quality technical education, which has only been made possible through very strong links with employers.”
Integral to the success of the initiative is the support of Network Rail and Transport for London (TfL) and their agreement to allow access to their training centres and facilities to the Colleges and training providers within the network.
Andrew Boagey, Chair, RCEA said: The new National Training Partnership is warmly supported by the members of the Railway Engineers’ Forum and by the Railway Civil Engineers’ Association (RCEA). All the Professional Institutions that are active in the rail sector recognise the importance of a balance between good quality education and strong workplace training”
Up to 35,000 apprenticeship opportunities are set to be created over the next 5 years thanks to major investment in road and rail infrastructure and technology, reveals a new industry report from the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce published on 12 July 2017. The National Training Partnership will have an important role to play in supporting government and industry in achieving this.
Speaking at the launch event Catherine De Marco, Deputy Director for Infrastructure Skills, DfT said:” Skilled apprentices are vital for the future of business and especially for the rail sector. STAT will work with NSAR to update the Skills Intelligence Model to identify key skills shortages and prioritise areas of focus. “
“The latest STAT report shows the incredible amount of work that the industry is doing to address the skills challenge. NSAR has supported this work and will continue to help the industry deliver,” added Neil Robertson.