Rail companies promise help to train engineers

Senior figures from the rail industry and professional institutions have pledged support for an initiative to train railway engineers. ‘Outside the train makers, Railtrack and London Underground, only two of the railway companies have accredited graduate training schemes,’ Peter Lowe, chairman of the Institution of Mechanical Engineer’s railway division, said at the launch of its […]

Senior figures from the rail industry and professional institutions have pledged support for an initiative to train railway engineers.

‘Outside the train makers, Railtrack and London Underground, only two of the railway companies have accredited graduate training schemes,’ Peter Lowe, chairman of the Institution of Mechanical Engineer’s railway division, said at the launch of its green paper on rail engineers’ training in the House of Lords last week.

The IMechE proposes the creation of an Engineering Passport Scheme to fill the skills gap. Companies and graduates would register.

Companies would provide project-based training for other companies’ employees. Each graduate’s experience would be recorded in the passport and they would also have a mentor.

The ImechE would act as ‘a marriage broker’ between passport holders and companies offering the experience they sought. It also wants passport-holding to lead to early chartered status.

A working party will oversee the scheme. Chiltern Railways, National Express and Virgin Trains and the Engineering Council have promised their support.

Point of view, page 12