Find out more our international work
Strategic skills advice, including building people capacity and capability.
Strategic workforce planning and skills forecasting studies.
Development of curriculum and training programmes, including the adaptation of UK content to meet local needs.
Quality assurance and accreditation of training courses and materials.
Advice on the development of training academies and centres of excellence.
Competency management solutions.
Development of a bespoke Skills Intelligence Model
Konnekt is the Norwegian Skills Centre for Transportation, established jointly by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and Norwegian Railway Directorate in 2020. Konnekt has a mandate to identify and address skills challenges in the Norwegian transportation sector by leveraging collaboration between the public, private and education sectors. Like most countries operating a modern rail and road infrastructure, expected future skills shortages need to be understood and mitigated through careful workforce planning.
Building a bespoke Skills Intelligence Model (SIM) for Konnekt supported them in understanding the scale and depth of Norway’s future workforce challenges. By using data from Statistics Norway, the SIM is able to predict future workforce levels in both the rail and road sectors. This allows Konnekt to generate education programmes and curricula to mitigate those skills shortages. Annual data updates are seamlessly incorporated into the Norway SIM.
The project will run for six years and is currently halfway through. Benefits are being realised in a strengthened understanding of what occupations are required, in what quantities, in which locations and in what year.
Client: Australasian Railway Association
Rail is set to play an important role in Australia’s future economic success and in ensuring connectivity between and within urban and regional areas. It will be crucial in managing the growth in freight, through increasingly shorter hauls in urban areas. The Australian government is making significant investments in Australia’s rail infrastructure but this investment could be at risk due to skill shortages.
In order to calculate the skills gap, the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) needed to able to baseline the current rail workforce and then forecast future requirements. NSAR’s Skills Intelligence Model (SIM) provided the solution they were looking for.
ARA commissioned NSAR to undertake a skills demand analysis using the SIM, which was configured to meet the requirements of the Australian rail industry. Workforce data was collected from employers using pre-defined templates, details of the planned investment projects were uploaded to the SIM and the model was run.
NSAR’s report allowed ARA to better understand the composition of the current Australian rail workforce, quantify future requirements and highlight the gap between current and future workforce requirements. The filters built into the SIM allow the data to be cut and sorted in multiple ways, allowing comparison and analysis of the data. For example, skill level by work type can be compared between different geographic regions and/or age profiles.
The outputs for the report are equally valuable to the education and training community; providing assistance in planning curricula for training programmes and guidance on the timelines when such programmes will be needed by employers.
Client: UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office
One of the objectives of the UK Government Skills for Prosperity programme in China is to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth through improved education and skills-building initiatives in targeted regions. These initiatives focus on developing a Technical and Vocational Education and Training system that better responds to regional economic and industrial needs.
NSAR was awarded a contract to design and implement a pilot project in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. The aim of the project was to upskill local manufacturing workers and test a set of interventions in the training programme. It measured the benefits of a blended approach to vocational training that incorporates a knowledge component with work-based practical competency training, in line with UK apprenticeships.
The project identified the need for further improvements to training programmes, including more mentoring opportunities for workers/learners and a greater emphasis on the importance and benefits of safety culture. Worker/learners expressed a desire for further training.
Client: Philippine Railways Institute
The Philippine’s Department for Transportation has plans to expand the main line network from less than 100 kilometres of operational line today to 1,200 kilometres over the next decade. The Philippine Railway Institute (PRI) was established in December 2019 to help grow the local skills base to support major rail projects in the country.
The Philippine and UK governments have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covering co-operation in rail. Under the MoU, which covers training and skills development, NSAR has been working directly with the PRI. NSAR has run a series of remote workshops for the PRI, focused on building a competency model and skills base for major rail projects. These workshops included input from specialists at NSAR, the Office of Rail and Road, the Department for Transport and Network Rail, to give the PRI an overview of safety systems, skills requirements and quality assurance.
NSAR’s work with the PRI is ongoing as supports the PRI to build a curriculum for apprenticeships and other training programmes, plus accreditation standards for those courses.
Client: Malaysian Rail Development Corporation (MRDC) – previously known as National Rail Centre of Excellence (NRCOE)
The Malaysian Land Public Transport Commission (LPTC, now part of the Malaysian Ministry of Transport) was set up to plan and regulate land-based public and freight transport in Malaysia. A National Rail Centre of Excellence (now replaced by the Malaysian Rail Development Corporation, MRDC) was set up by LPTC to be a hub for skills and capability building, standards development and coordination of research activities for the Malaysian rail industry.
NSAR was engaged by LPTC to provide solutions to support the achievement of its key objectives – building skills and competency to meet current and future demand, coordinating training provisions and recruiting locally to meet needs. NSAR delivered strategic advice on skills development, workforce planning and building competency frameworks. Advice and support was also provided to develop, deliver and quality assure training programmes that met local requirements.
In providing advice and support, NSAR helped build top-quality talent and played a part in enhancing the performance of the Malaysian rail sector. The relationship is ongoing – in 2021, NSAR expanded its partnership with Malaysia through a new partnership Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) with Malaysian Railways Limited. The aim of the MoC is to develop a railway skills curriculum for professional certificates and to establish railway technology training facilities to ensure the sector is up to date with the latest technology.