New rail training academy opens in the Midlands

A new Transport, Rail and Infrastructure Academy (TRIA) in the Midlands has been opened, set to create 432 training places and employment opportunities.

NIS MD Dave Carns speaking at the launch
NIS MD Dave Carns speaking at the launch - NIS

TRIA will be situated at the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO)'s Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre in Dudley. The launch event also saw the ribbon cut on a new Signalling Academy by WMCA (West Midlands Combined Authority) Mayor Andy Street. WMCA says it is investing £1.1m to create the training places at the Dudley site.

“Hundreds of millions of pounds are being invested right now into the region’s train and tram network, with new rail lines and stations being built and new Metro routes under construction,” said Street.

“That’s great news for the travelling public but we also need to make sure this unprecedented investment benefits local people in terms of new jobs and careers. That’s why the WMCA is helping to fund this state-of-the-art training academy and matching skills courses to the needs of our regional economy.”

TRIA is an extension of a 5-year partnership between the City of Wolverhampton College and National Infrastructure Solutions (NIS), which provides training across rail, civil engineering and utilities. The Dudley site boasts more than 2,000 metres of conventional rail track, including two split-level platforms, an 870m tunnel and signalling components to give students hands-on training in multiple disciplines across the industry, interacting with the same equipment that’s used on rail construction sites.

“Our partnership with City of Wolverhampton College and the WMCA is now in its fifth year and, by working together, we have delivered training that has created sustainable employment for more than 2,000 people,” said Davie Carns, managing director of NIS.

“TRIA is the next step in the relationship and will give us the framework to provide specialist courses across multiple locations in the West Midlands, encouraging greater employer engagement and the potential for more jobs.

“The Black Country Signalling Academy at BCIMO is another example of how we are listening to businesses and developing training for more technical roles that are currently in high demand.”