Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer transport guidance for operators

Check out The Department of Transport’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer transport guidance for operators (Updated July 2020). The guide outlines measures to assess and address the risks of coronavirus (COVID-19) and will help transport organisations in England understand how to provide safer workplaces and services for themselves, their workers and passengers.

To view the guide click here.

NSAR External Quality Assurance & Apprenticeships Service

NSAR is the enabling body supporting the employer-led Apprenticeship Quality Boards in: We remain focused on supporting employers committed to high-quality apprenticeships by helping them to take ownership of the external quality assurance of the various apprenticeship assessment market places. Our and their aim is to allow all stakeholders to have confidence in the assessment outcomes during the end-point assessment stage of the apprenticeships. Our team is committed to keeping employers at the centre of apprenticeship policy, supporting them in their work to ensure there is constant and continuous improvement, as well as all working to ensure we have the highest quality apprenticeship experiences and outcomes possible. We will work with our employer boards to explore how this engagement is maintained going forward.

To find out more about NSAR External Quality Assurance & Apprenticeships Service click here.


Boost your organisation by hiring an apprentice who has been made redundant

The coronavirus pandemic has caused some organisations to make redundancies, leaving experienced, work-ready apprentices without an employer. That’s why the government has launched the new Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices, providing advice and guidance to help them find new opportunities. Organisations like yours can also benefit from taking on apprentices facing redundancy to fill key skill gaps, develop creative talent, and strengthen practical know-how in order to gain a competitive edge during this difficult time. You may also be eligible for incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice. 

To find out more about how hiring an apprentice facing redundancy can benefit your organisation, click here.

Skills Live – Bringing job roles in rail to life 

Skills Live is a brand new online platform that uses video to bring life to a variety of job roles within rail.  The tool is a great way for rail employers to engage job seekers, recruit new talent and improve diversity. Users can learn more about the skills of a role by watching a series of short videos linked to a job specification. Those who work their way through the video content will be directed to a potential career opportunity with an employer. Skills Live will enable employers to connect with more people who until now may not have considered a career in rail. It aims to be instrumental in inspiring the next generation of employees whilst encouraging diversity. The video based platform has been funded by UFI Trust and developed in partnership with Dept. for Work & Pensions and rail employers, including TfL, Network Rail, Bombardier, East Midlands Trains and Colas Rail.

Get on board and find out more by clicking here

NSAR Quality Assurance Webinars 2020 – 2021

NSAR Quality Assurance Team with Guests from RAIB and Network Rail will be delivering a series of online webinars in 2020-2021. The webinars are intended to provide valuable guidance and support for Assured Provider’s and Trainers and Assessors.  The webinars will cover:
  • RTAS Rules changes
  • Fundamental Ideas of effective observation practice
  • Observation Culture
  • Observation Feedback & Action Plans
  • Standardisation & Moderation
  • Talent Fostering and tackling observed underperformance
  • The Holistic Learner
  • SAR & QIP support
  • Biased and unbiased delivery
Don’t miss out on this development opportunity to receive CPD hours. Click here to register.   

2025 UK Border Strategy Public Consultation

The end of the Transition Period with the European Union provides the UK with the opportunity to design a future border that will deliver maximum benefit to the UK. Today, the UK Government published a public consultation on GOV.UK, inviting businesses and industry to share ideas and evidence to help develop a 2025 UK Border Strategy. The goal is for this strategy to set out how the government will transform the UK border into the world’s most effective and efficient by 2025. Input and expertise from businesses and industry will ensure that the future border is designed with the user in mind. This consultation follows the publication of the Border Operating Model on Monday 13th July 2020 that set out how businesses and industry can prepare for the end of the Transition Period. The consultation is not seeking views on the end of the Transition Period or preparations for leaving the EU’s Custom’s Union and Single Market. Rather it seeks to look ahead to the future and explore what major transformations the UK needs to deliver over the long-term to deliver the world’s most effective border by 2025. The government will be holding detailed workshops on the 2025 UK Border Strategy throughout the period while the consultation period is open. If you would like to be involved in these detailed sessions, please get in touch at

To find out more about the 2025 UK Border Strategy Public Consultation, click here.

UK Internal Market (UKIM) White Paper and Consultation

As powers are transferred from the EU back to the UK, there is potential for divergence. One example pertaining to construction can be found in the recently released UK Internal Market White Paper (P34). Economic modelling of divergence in regulation in the construction sector shows that while individual regulatory differences create only small increases in the costs of trading with the different parts of the UK, in a realistic scenario of several small policy differences, new barriers could create the equivalent of a tariff of 3%, while a moderately more impactful scenario of policy divergence in the construction sector could lead to a cumulative tariff equivalent of over 8% To mitigate this and ensure there is continuity across affected areas, the White Paper sets out two principles for the UK’s approach:
  • The principle of mutual recognition – regulations from one part of the UK will be recognised across the country to ensure the devolved administrations can set their own rules and standards, but still welcome the trade of businesses based anywhere in the UK
  • The principle of non-discrimination – so there is a level playing field for companies trading in the UK, regardless of where in the UK the business is based.
The Government is consulting on the options set out in the white paper. Responses must be submitted by 13 August 2020.

To contribute to this consultation, click here.

NSAR Appoints NEW Chair

NSAR is delighted to announce the appointment of Dyan Crowther, Chief Executive of HS1, as the new Chair of NSAR, effective from June 23rd 2020.  Dyan’s senior industry experience, together with her commitment to skills and productivity make her an ideal candidate to guide NSAR through the COVID recovery period and beyond. We are indebted to Mike Brown who has chaired NSAR for over 4 years, during which time NSAR has developed and grown.  Much more importantly though, skills and especially apprenticeships have become a core part of the railway story, with new standards, improved quality and increases in apprentices in both infrastructure and operations.  We wish Mike well in his new role as Chair of the Palace of Westminster redevelopment and we know that he will take his passion for skills, diversity and inclusion with him. Dyan said: “I am delighted to be joining the board of NSAR as Chair. As we begin to recover from this period of uncertainty, now more than ever the support for trainers, employers and organisations, to sustain a skilled workforce, is crucial to the delivery of a first-class rail. I look forward to working with our members to help them continue to develop the skills they need to keep Britain on track.” Mike said: “I have been honoured to have chaired NSAR for over 4 years, supporting it and its members to address their skills challenges.  The roles we offer in transport are high economic value, and we must make sure that all communities benefit from these opportunities.  I wish Dyan well and I know that NSAR is in safe hands.  I shall watch progress with interest.”

Chancellor’s £1,000 cash bonus for companies to hire trainees

The government is pledging to provide 30,000 new traineeships to get young people in England into work, as fears about mounting unemployment increase. Traineeships provide classroom-based lessons in maths, English and CV writing, as well as up to 90 hours of unpaid work experience. Under the £111m scheme, firms in England will be given £1,000 for each new work experience place they offer. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive £21m for similar schemes. The expanded scheme will be in place in England from September 2020. “Expanding traineeships will be part of a wider package to support young people and to ensure they have the skills and training to go on to high quality, secure and fulfilling employment,” the Treasury said. Employers must currently offer a minimum of 100 hours of work experience. But the Treasury statement refers to “a high-quality work placement of 60 to 90 hours”, which could suggest a new, lesser, commitment for providers. Watch out for further announcements on Traineeships and Apprenticeships by the Chancellor in his Statement tomorrow.

What is a traineeship?

• A traineeship is a course that includes a work placement • It can last from six weeks up to six months • Traineeships are aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds in England • Trainees may complete a maximum of 240 hours of work experience over six months • Providers should offer an interview for an apprenticeship or job, if available at the end of the scheme • Employers are not required to pay trainees for a work placement, unlike apprenticeships. For more information on traineeships, click the link below: