Intertrain launches industry first Traineeship pilot

Intertrain, part of the City & Guilds Group, is pleased to announce that they will be the first rail training provider to offer Adult Education Budget funded occupational Traineeships to support 19 – 24-year-olds across the UK. The first cohorts in London and Birmingham started on the 10th May 2021. 

Alex Pond, Managing Director at Intertrain said:

“We’re thrilled that Intertrain has been selected to be involved in the first pilot of an occupational Traineeship in the rail sector. We know that young people have been badly impacted by unemployment caused by the pandemic, and it is part of the City & Guilds Group purpose to help people fulfil their potential by giving them the in-demand skills they need to get into a job. The Traineeship pilot will provide opportunities for young people to start an exciting career in rail and we look forward to welcoming our first cohorts.”

In July 2020, the Government announced that it would be reforming and expanding the Traineeships programme to help young people in England to get started in their careers. The rail sector is just one sector that the Education and Skills Funding Agency are working with to develop occupational traineeships through the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR). 

This pilot comes at a time when the UK rail industry is facing a critical skills shortage with up to 120,000 additional workers required over the next 5-10 years to meet the demands of major rail infrastructure projects.  According to the ‘Back on Track’ research carried out by the City & Guilds Group and National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) in November 2020, over 28% of workers in the current rail workforce are over the age of 50, and some 15,000 workers could be due to retire by 2025. This highlights the need to attract and retain young people to a developing industry.

Traineeships are designed to provide work experience as part of an education and training programme, focused on giving young people the skills and experience that employers are looking for. Each Traineeship includes a work experience placement as part of the skills development programme, and after completing a Traineeship, candidates will have gained the appropriate skills and experience to be able to progress onto an Apprenticeship or employment in Rail.

This new type of traineeship has been in development since September 2020 and forms a large part of the skills plan in which the Government is encouraging employers to support young people. The Traineeships provided by Intertrain will work to support young people entering rail, bridge the skills gaps in this sector and increase social mobility.

Neil Robertson, Chief Executive at the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), said:

“The development and delivery of high-quality Traineeships will be a key entry point for members alongside, Apprenticeships, T-Levels and Kickstart.  At its heart, the new Rail Track Traineeship gives employers more opportunities to create relevant, engaging and work-relevant training, alongside quality partners.

Working with ESFA and Intertrain to launch this Track Traineeship is the first of what I hope will be many quality traineeship opportunities to help get young people started in rail.  These types of traineeships will have a key role to play in the need to increase social mobility and to further the levelling up agenda.”

Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Gillian Keegan said:

“As we continue to rebuild and level up, we must ensure that as many young people as possible are given the opportunity to gain the skills needed to progress in their chosen career. Traineeships are a great way into jobs and apprenticeships, delivering invaluable training and work placements that boost employability, bridge skills gaps and bolster the future talent pipeline of businesses. It is fantastic to see Intertrain offering traineeships in such an important sector, and I encourage anyone interested to check out the exciting opportunities on offer.”

Employers working in collaboration with Intertrain and supporting the Traineeships include Colas Rail and McGinley Support Services.

Gemma Simmonds, Head of Career & Development at Colas Rail, said: 

“Colas Rail has been committed to Early Careers recruitment and addressing the Skills Gap in the Rail Industry over the last decade. We have recruited our largest intake to date of Graduates and Apprentices in 2020 which we are exceptionally proud of, but especially due to the challenges of the Covid Pandemic.

Traineeships are an important part of the Strategy at Colas Rail to support not only the skills gaps in the industry but to provide opportunity to those needing experience and qualifications as part of our Covid 19 Response. We are proud to support young people to get an OLE qualification with Intertrain by providing the safe work experience through our OLE team in the South Rail Systems Alliance.

Our current Apprentices and Graduates will be supporting the Trainees to ensure they learn as much as possible and we really hope some candidates then go forward to apply to our 2021 Apprentice Programme.”

Fiona Burke, HR Director at McGinley Support Services, said:

“Traineeships allow companies to provide training opportunities to candidates which will lead them into real job opportunities. With the rapid rise in Infrastructure projects in the UK this is a prime sector to provide new job opportunities which lead to long established careers. McGinley hope to make this new initiative a new route for new entrants into our sector on a regular basis.”

Intertrain will be expanding the Traineeship scheme throughout the year, including the recruitment of further cohorts across the UK. For more information on Intertrain traineeships please visit the dedicated website.