An essential tool for Strategic Workforce Planning

Strategic workforce planning (SWP) remains a critical activity for any organisation looking for sustainability. This is particularly crucial with Brexit on the horizon. Addressing the question on what resources do I need. when do I need them and how best to attain these can often be a daunting exercise.

NSAR realised the urgent need for organisations to employ SWP and have developed a tool which can greatly assist in the process.  The Skills Intelligence Model (SIM) is a statistical tool which uses data on today’s workforce and future investment plan levels to forecast the future required workforce. DfT assured and UKRIA-nominated, the online platform can report at an industry and company level in a user-friendly way. The SIM allows users to conduct scenario mapping, business modelling, cost savings and efficiency projections and integral to SWP.

To see how NSAR can help you with SWP or to utilise the SIM click here.

Grayling slashes rail fares for a generation of rail passengers

Last week a brand new rail card that extends half-price child rail fares to 16 and 17 year olds has been was announced by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

The new 16 and 17 railcard will be launched this coming September (2019) with up to 1.2 million young people guaranteed a 50% discount on rail travel to coincide with the new academic year.

The new railcard will guarantee 50% off rail travel until the cardholder reaches their 18th birthday. Further details will be available ahead of the card’s launch in the summer.

The move comes as the government freezes regulated fares in line with inflation for other travellers for the sixth year running. Since 2014 fares have, on average, remained below the annual inflation cap.

The government wants to see lower fares in the future and has launched root and branch review of the rail industry looking at fares reform and affordability for passengers. Reforms will begin in 2020.

Final intercity train sees GWR deliver 10,000 more seats

More than 10,000 more train seats have now been made available on the Great Western Railway (GWR) network after the train operator delivered the remainder of the new fleet of Class 800 intercity trains yesterday.

A total of 658 new carriages have come into service in the past 18 months on the GWR network, and 15 further Class 802 trains are still to be rolled out during 2019.  GWR’s managing director Mark Hopwood said the new Intercity Express Trains have helped increase the number of seats on journeys by almost a quarter, and have proven to be 20% more reliable than the older trains they’re replacing over the last three months.

Find out more by reading the full article by Rail Technology Magazine (RTM) by clicking here.

Our commitment to the rail industry remains the same in 2019

Established to enable the sector to deliver a modern and efficient, world class railway through the development of a highly skilled and productive workforce, in 2019 NSAR’s mission remains the same.

We work within the rail industry to provide workable solutions for the provision of skills needed for the increasing demands of a modern railway. We develop people to excel every day, challenging the status quo and inspiring a change in the way skills and competences are delivered.

For more information download our brochure to get an overview of NSAR’s purpose, products and services by clicking here.

NSAR joins the Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2019!

NSAR will be joining the Women in Rail Big Diversity Challenge taking place 27 June 2019 at Newark Showground.  We will be joining over 500 industry personnel to promote the business benefits attained when engaging a gender diverse workforce reinforcing Women in Rail’s key message that gender diversity is:

  • Better for People
  • Better for Business
  • Better for Rail

For more information about the Women in Rail Big Diversity Challenge click here.

NSAR External Quality Assurance Service for digital apprenticeships is now live!

The IfA have approved the Digital Apprenticeship Quality Board, supported by NSAR to deliver the external quality assurance (EQA) service for the 12 published level 3 and level 4 digital standards. There are now over 12,000 starts on these new standards and ten organisations are now registered to deliver end-point assessments.  The EQA service will ensure that the end point assessments are consistent and comparable across end-point assessment organisations – and that the assessment decisions are occupationally valid.

The first output from the service will be a Market Insight Report – based on the early experience of all the registered end-point assessment organisations.  This will provide invaluable feedback on how  end-point assessment is working in practice and will identify the initial priorities for external quality assurance – as well as  highlighting areas for continuous improvement. The Report will be delivered early in this Year.

For more information regarding Digital Apprenticeships, click here.

TfL awards £196m contract for Barking Riverside Overground extension

TfL has awarded a £196m contract to build a 4.5km rail extension of the London Overground to Barking Riverside to a joint venture of Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure and VolkerFitzpatrick (MSVF).

The overground extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, from the Tilbury Loop Line between Barking and Dagenham Dock stations to Barking Riverside, is part of the Barking Riverside development.

Gareth Powell, TfL’s managing director of surface transport, welcomed the deal commenting “Awarding this contract to build the London Overground extension is the next exciting step in the Barking Riverside development, which will enable the delivery of up to 10,800 new homes and the creation of new healthcare and leisure facilities.”

For more information click here.

All aboard for 2019

Happy New Year!
We hope you had a restful and enjoyable festive break but the work doesn’t stop for NSAR.  We will continue to support the rail industry providing membership, quality assurance, insights and skills solutions to help employers, trainers and organisations  alike.

We look forward to 2019 and our mission in continuing to assist in developing an sustainable a highly skilled workforce to ensure the delivery of a world class rail service.


Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox officially thanks UKSCE

Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, has expressed his gratitude to UKSCE’s support of UK Government activities at the recent China lnternational lmport Expo 2018.

Fox goes on to state:

“I appreciate all the efforts that have been undertaken to make this event a success and I am impressed by the work you have done to bridge the gap of the skilled profession provided the Chinese partners a good opportunity to better understand the UK skills development system and work closer with UK partners.”

UKSCE is a brand-new initiative which aims to bridge the gap between technical and vocational education and training in China.
The UKSCE aims to enrich the international community and enhance the Chinese workforce through the setup of international schools and training centres.

This new enterprise is the result of a collaboration between The Nationals Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), UK Skills Federation and the Chinese Government.

For more information on UKSCE contact us at