Chief Executive Update July

The NSAR teams have been working hard as usual the past month – engaging in various projects, partnerships, meetings and events across workforce planning, apprenticeship services and quality assurance. You can read about NSAR’s activities and achievements in the last month here.

For me, it has been a busy month with a lot of travel – to Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia. I was invited to speak at the ‘Future Rail Skills Forum’ hosted by the Australian National Transport Commission and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) in Melbourne. NSAR has recently carried out workforce analysis for the ARA, to forecast workforce demand for planned rail projects. The focus of the forum was identifying how to attract diverse and younger workers to meet this demand and how to develop the digital skills needed now and into the future. I spoke about what the UK rail industry has learnt in our own efforts to meet workforce demand and our successes based on NSAR data.

NSAR has been helping the Malaysian government set up a Rail Centre of Excellence to enable a planned rail infrastructure programme. I travelled to Malaysia to continue exploring NSAR’s role in giving advice on skills building and providing quality assurance services for rail operations training.

The last stop was Indonesia. The Indonesian government also have rail infrastructure development plans and are keen to develop their own local skilled workforces. They want to make university and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses more relevant to infrastructure development by incorporating specific skills knowledge and are using the UK approach as a key resource. NSAR is supporting them in this.

And it wasn’t all hard work! While in Australia I managed to sneak away to see an Aussie rules game and saw the Wallabies play the All Blacks in a Bledisloe Cup match. Made up for the jet lag…


Neil Robertson
NSAR Chief Executive

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