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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

QTS Group and East Ayrshire Council launch new Rail Skills Academy

QTS Group and East Ayrshire Council are looking for enthusiastic young people, aged 18 to 24 years, to join Scotland’s first Rail Skills Academy.

The Academy, which is being delivered by QTS Training and funded through the Council’s Young Person Guarantee programme, will help to combat the skills shortage and lack of diversity in the rail industry.

With over 48% of railway workers aged 50 or over and women making up just 16% of the current workforce, action is being taken to create a knowledgeable, diverse, and qualified workforce for the future. 

Based at QTS’ Drumclog HQ, the course will equip participants with the competencies, skills and experience required to thrive in the railway maintenance sector. From employability and core skills to health and safety awareness and PTS track induction, young people who complete the academy will be on track to start their new career.

Each academy session will run for nine weeks, with transportation provided to and from the site for participants.

Director of QTS Training, Lorna Gibson said: “Network Rail and its supply chain are creating many initiatives to combat the skills gap within our industry and, as a lead contractor working in this sector, QTS has been developing a range of programmes, including apprenticeships, traineeships, graduate development, and Kickstart programmes to encourage young people to join the industry. 

“The work we currently do with young people has made it evident that most are completely unaware of the employment and wide range of career opportunities offered by this industry.

“The introduction of the QTS Rail Skills Academy programme will bring further opportunity for young people to be introduced to rail and to gain the qualifications, competencies and initial experience required to progress through a career in what is a thriving industry.”

Head of Assessment and Skills at the National Skills Academy for Rail, Barry Smith said: “In establishing the QTS Rail Skills Academy, QTS is really showing the way to create opportunities for young people and to support the creation of a more diverse workforce for the rail industry. 

“This is an exciting and innovative new opportunity for East Ayrshire and a great way for young people to start a career in rail.”

You can apply to the QTS Rail Skills Academy by contacting Jane McFadzean on [email protected].

Image credit: QTS Group

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