SLC Operations, one of the SLC group of companies, has met the criteria set out by the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) allowing it to start delivering End Point Assessments for Train Driver Level 3 apprentices across all rail sectors. It becomes only the second company – and first train operator – in the UK to achieve this approval.
The assessments will be carried out by its team of qualified Driver Instructors and Assessors, through its training operation “The Rail Academy” based in Kings Norton, Birmingham. The Rail Academy has purpose-built training facilities but can also host remote assessments to support operators across the UK and meet COVID-19 restrictions.
Cath Bellamy, Managing Director of SLC Operations said: “It is estimated that over 1,000 people are currently going through training to become Train Drivers in the UK, and most are going through an apprenticeship. Each one of them needs a final, independent assessment before receiving their apprenticeship award.
“Gaining approval to deliver these assessments has been a huge task and has taken us 9 months. But we have done it and are delighted to have begun assessing drivers for on behalf of our first clients Train’d Up and MTR – Elizabeth Line– this month.
“As an experienced team, and a train operator in our own right, we understand the critical significance these assessments hold in defining when and if a trainee is ready to receive their award as well as upholding professional operating and safety standards. With a queue of trainees reaching the end of their apprenticeship, we are excited to get going.”
This development follows a report at the end of last year by the City & Guilds and National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), calling on the rail sector and government to collaborate and recommended apprenticeships to urgently gear up the industry’s skills and talent pipelines.