Apprenticeship Funding Bands

Since the Department of Education request to assess existing standards, The Institute for Apprenticeships has been reviewing the funding bands of 31 standards.

29 of these standards have now been reviewed. Many standards will have their funding bands changed including; Digital Marketer, Infrastructure Technician, Network Engineer and Rail Engineering Technician.


Standard Name Pre-Review Funding Band Reviewed Funding Band
Digital Marketer £12, 000 £11, 000 (Band 14)
Infrastructure Technician £15, 000 £15, 000 (Band 18)
Network Engineer £18, 000 £17, 000 (Band 20)
Rail Engineering Technician £27, 000 £26, 000 (Band 29)


The department will continue to bring in older standards to the new band structure and commission reviews for a further 30 standards.

Further information on the review can be found here.

SkillsID updated!

SkillsID has been updated with new features including, an Observation Tool and a Career Planner.
These features allow you to identify your organisations level of competence further, as well as understanding its commercial ability.


To learn more about SkillsID click here.

Skills Live beta test successful

Recently a beta testing version of Skills Live was successfully launched to a limited number of users.
40 unemployed candidates signed up from job centres within the borough of Waltham Forest with 20 of them invited onto a career camp.

This group went on to learn how to improve their employability skills and a total of 13 candidates successfully completed the camp.
Now the candidates will continue to be supported with the aim of being introduce to opportunities within rail.

Skills Live remains on track for a public launch in February 2019 and we hope to see an increase in the number of candidates signed-up in the period in between.

For more information on Skills Live click here

NSAR Annual Report – Dec 2018

The NSAR Annual Report is now available to download from our Knowledge Centre!

In 2018, NSAR has built on the strong foundations laid in 2017 and our Annual Report December 2018 contains culmination of several pieces of work, to a standard the industry can be proud of.

To download the report click here.

NSAR Skills Symposium 2018  

NSAR hosted a Skills Symposium at the Birmingham Metropolitan College (B-Met) last Friday.

The event focused on the future of rail and the rail training market. Guy Wilmshurst-Smith (Head of Training, Network Rail), Toufic Machnouk (Route Programme Director LNE&EM, Network Rail), Barry Smith (Head of Assessment, NSAR), Neil Franklin (Head of Skills Intelligence, NSAR), and Richard Winter (Education Manager, HS2) presented at the event.

The event was a huge success and proved to be insightful and educational.

NSAR AGM and Skills Symposium 2018 a success

Last Friday NSAR hosted its AGM at Birmingham Metropolitan College (B-Met).

Chaired by Neil Robertson (NSAR CEO) full NSAR Members participated in election of board directors and more.

This event was followed by a Skills Symposium which focused on the future of  the rail training market.

Delegates were able to engage and give feedback on presentations including:


  • Network Rail Training – The future of the rail training market by Guy Wilmshurst-Smith (Head of Training, Network Rail)
  • The impact & skills requirement for digital rail by Toufic Machnouk (Route Programme Director LNE&EM, Network Rail)
  • The HS2 Skills Strategy by Kate Myers & Richard Winter
  • External Quality Assurance Service by Barry Smith (Head of Assessment, NSAR)
  • Data, Productivity and Digital by Neil Franklin (Head of Skills Intelligence, NSAR)


With thanks to B-Met and Principal Cliff Hall for allowing us to host what proved to be an insightful and informative event.

Presentations will be available to download from the NSAR website shortly.

Government publishes the Rail Sector Deal

The Government has recently published The Rail Sector Deal which sets out a new approach to the rail industry and the government working in partnership to transform the rail sector. This report focuses on the need to increase the use of digital technology, boost productivity, improve the service received by those who use our railways and build the skills of the UK workforce to capitalise on these opportunities.


To view the Rail Sector Deal, click here.

NSAR commences work on a Norwegian Skills Intelligence Model

The Norwegian Public Roads administration and the Railway Directorate has now joined forces to establish a “centre of transport education”.

Engineering companies and entrepreneurs in the sector are also invited to join forces with them to create a strong base for education, work related practices and creating the skills and work force capacity they all need as a country.


Their role, as currently defined, includes the following areas:

  • Skills intelligence and strategic workforce planning
  • Co-ordinating all transport courses and degrees at universities and colleges (transport) supported / run by the public sector
  • Creating necessary education and research opportunities for students
  • Working with the industry to create opportunities for work practice, internships, trainee positions and project work
  • Sector promotion and industry branding and attractiveness

NSAR have been engaged to support them in delivering their objectives, particularly around developing a Norwegian version of our renowned Skills Intelligence Model (SIM).

We will be presenting our demo version early 2019 to the Norwegian Rail and Road organisations, where we will also be joined by the Swedish rail and road administrations.


For more information regarding the SIM, visit our website

NSAR partners with China UKSCE (UK Skills Centres of Excellence)

NSAR has partnered with China UKSCE (UK Skills Centres of Excellence) as a result our increasingly strong international reputation.
Inclusive of our recent MOU signing with Jiaxing Nanyang Polytechnic Institute, we have also signed MOU’s with 15 other institutions in the last 12 months.

This includes:

  • Jingjiang of Jiangsu Province
  • Ordos of Inner Mongolia
  • Zhenzhou of Henan Province
  • Baodi of Tianjing Municiplality
  • Beijing Miyun Project with Qinhua Qidi Group
  • Wenchang of Hainan Province
  • China High Tech Plc
  • Roserock Culture Group
  • Aoji Group
  • National Academy for Comprehensive Skills and Competences
  • China Discovery Academy
  • China Health and Medical Development Foundation

The aim is to develop skills programmes and assist in the internationalising of Chinese education as well as working with The Chinese Society of Vocational and Technical Education and Fusi Capital.
NSAR’s work in China has the approval of the DIT and the FCO departments of the UK Government.

For more information regarding NSAR’s international endeavours, click here.