Rolling stock manufacturer Adtranz has offered its 4,400 UK employees £200 a year each to attend training courses.
The £880,000 annual investment is towards three years’ part-time enrolment at further education colleges. The courses do not have to be directly work-related, but Adtranz wants its staff to gain more vocational qualifications.
Adtranz, with £450m UK turnover, denies the training initiative was prompted by engineering skills shortages.
It is part of a new Adtranz employment package including private family medical cover and childcare vouchers, but no wage rise.
The optional package is designed to keep the company in the first rank of employers in manufacturing cities like Derby, where Adtranz, Rolls-Royce and Toyota all recruit workers.
‘We are aiming to be a modern employer, with an employment strategy to benefit both staff and company,’ Adtranz UK human resources director Mike Horan said.
Adtranz expects to learn this week if the Government has approved a submission by Nottingham for a £100m tram project in which it is among preferred bidders.
The company last week unveiled a new 1200m £2m track at Derby, for testing new and refurbished trains running up to 60mph.