A national training centre for rail engineers has opened. It boasts digital signalling equipment, a de-constructed train, virtual reality and 3D simulation.
Rail minister Clare Perry opened the National Training Academy for Rail near Northampton this week.
The centre – jointly funded by the government and rolling stock maker Siemens – will help train the next generation of rail technicians, engineers and managers.
The National Infrastructure Plan for Skills last month warned that 15,300 new skilled tradespeople and labourers were needed to meet rail sector demand in England alone by 2020 – along with 5,100 engineering and technical staff, 2,400 construction managers and 1,300 client and project leaders.
“The opening of the National Training Academy for Rail is a major milestone towards delivering a network of transport infrastructure skills colleges and training academies,”said Perry.
“The government is investing billions of pounds in rail and road projects, which will create thousands of exciting new job opportunities. More and more of these jobs are cutting-edge, highly technical and require Britain’s best minds. This new facility – and more like it – are just what the country needs to ensure we develop a workforce with the advanced skills required to build a transport network fit for the future.”