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£500,000 earmarked for National Rail Academy

FEARS THAT shortages of engineers will cripple efforts to improve the rail network have prompted the SRA to launch plans for a National Rail Academy.

The Strategic Agenda document says that the SRA has earmarked £500,000 for the development of the academy with the Rail Industry Training Council (RITC).

The SRA and the RITC will use the refranchising process to encourage training by franchise holders.

RITC chief executive Jackie Chappell said that initiatives would concentrate on skills across the industry including engineers, experienced management and drivers.

She said it was looking at ways of training people as quickly as possible without cutting corners.

Chappell also stressed the importance of cross industry co-operation especially when recruiting graduates, adding that more link ups between industry and academia were needed.

The plan also calls for the development of rail related engineering degrees at universities.

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