IMechE acquires rail training company

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has purchased Amber Train, a company that trains people to work across the rail network.

Adelante passenger train en route to the south-west of England

Based in Retford, Nottinghamshire, Amber Train provides apprenticeships to those who have recently left education, as well as to offenders coming towards the end of prison sentences. Trainees work towards City and Guilds qualifications, and by the end of their education are equipped to work on the tracks for Network Rail’s sub-contractors.

“Amber Train is not only equipping people to pursue valuable, worthwhile careers, but is providing much needed skills for the UK rail sector,” said Stephen Tetlow MBE, chief executive of IMechE.

“This move will allow us to build on the company’s hugely impressive work, expanding not [just] into the rail industry but also into other engineering sectors where there are critical shortages. It will also allow Amber Train to benefit from the huge resources and network of the Institution and its membership.”

Following an initial education programme with Amber Train, trainees are placed with an employer and supported until completion of an NVQ Level 2 apprenticeship. The acquisition highlights an increasingly hands-on role that IMechE is taking in training and development, as it seeks to help tackle the engineering skills gap head-on.

“This is the Institution taking action to help plug the UK engineering skills shortage and provide more opportunities for those aspiring to become professional technicians and engineers,” said Tetlow.