Walesâ€™ next generation of railway workers are on track for a first-class education, as Coleg y Cymoedd announces plans to open a multimillion pound Centre of Excellence for Railway Training in Nantgarw.
Coleg y Cymoedd has joined forces with McGinley Support Services to offer an exciting new Rail Apprenticeship Programme from September 2014.
A 2.2 million pound investment to create the new Centre of Excellence for Railway Training, complete with full scale railway track, will equip young adults with the knowledge and skills to work in the rail track industry.
The programme has been developed following an announcement by Network Rail of a Â£2 billion Electrification Framework Programme over the next seven -ten years; involving improvements across Wales and the rest of the country.
During the first year, 48 apprentices employed via McGinley, will follow the Apprenticeship in Railtrack Engineering; a Level 2 qualification; which will enable them to train in a realistic working environment.
The purpose built training facility at the Collegeâ€™s Nantgarw Campus will allow individuals seeking employment to develop the skills needed to work in the railway sector; as well as those currently working in the sector who may not be qualified or are seeking related qualifications such as manual handling and health & safety.
In addition there are a number of transferrable skills such as building works, trades and electrical trades which can be migrated across the railway environment and this new training facility will help achieve this.
Judith Evans, Principal of Coleg y Cymoedd, said â€œI am delighted with the partnership we have forged with McGinley to deliver the Rail Apprenticeship Programme. This investment is a representation of our Collegeâ€™s mission to strengthen the valleys through the provision of excellent education, skills and training opportunities.
â€œThe hands on experience the apprentices will receive whilst at the college will provide them with skills to take back to their workplace. The rail track industry is a major employer in the area and figures show there is a significant shortfall of skilled labour at present and predicted in the future across the rail sector. Our new facility will facilitate the training and up-skilling for the current and future generation of railway workersâ€.
Coleg y Cymoedd will host an information session at the Nantgarw Campus on Wednesday July 16th to provide an overview of the programme and answer any questions. Please call 01443 663239/663137 to book your place. (Applicants must be 18 years by December 2014 â€“ Sector Requirement).
Rhondda Cynon Taff