The National College for High Speed Rail is the largest of five national colleges being created by Government to ensure British workers learn world class skills. The college has two campuses in Birmingham and Doncaster, with state-of-the art facilities such as virtual reality learning and a BIM cave in order to provide students with an industry leading work environment. The college’s curriculum has been developed in partnership with employers and leading industry specialists will provide teaching and mentoring at the college so that learners are able to hit the ground running with their new employers once they finish their training.
To succeed, and deliver the next generation of talented workers for the rail and engineering industries, the college has developed a leadership pledge and has been asking for support from as many employer partners as possible. To date, the college has received support from a number of leading industry businesses, with highlights including:
- Commitment from several businesses to send apprentices to the college. Amongst those sending apprentices are the Fusion Joint Venture, a partnership between Morgan Sindall, BAM and Ferrovial, which has a successful track record of delivering large infrastructure projects, having previously collaborated on projects such as Crossrail and Thames Tideway Tunnel;
- The delivery of two newly refurbished Eurostar power cars to each of the college campuses in Birmingham and Doncaster. The 25-tonne power cars have been generously donated to the college by Alstom and Eurostar, after being retired from service. The trains will now have a new lease of life at the college, by playing a critical role in educating Britain’s next generation of engineers. The two power cars have undergone extensive refurbishment by Alstom, which has included an overhaul to the original livery to incorporate the colourful branding of the National College for High Speed Rail;
- Colas Rail has donated and installed the Overhead Line Equipment catenary system at the Birmingham campus, where it will be used to provide practical experience alongside the classroom theory sessions;
- The donation of a 700-metre length of rail track by British Steel. The 41 lengths of 18 metre steel were installed at the college by Rhomberg Sersa rail group;
- Donation of a bogie – (the wheel set for a carriage) – by Lucchini Unipart Rail Limited. Businesses Van Elle and Rhomberg Sersa were instrumental in providing and arranging the transportation of this piece of equipment;
- Official backing from more than 30 businesses for the college’s specialist High Speed Rail and Infrastructure Apprenticeship, also known as the ‘trailblazer’. Businesses in support of the trailblazer include ALIGN Joint Venture (JV) (Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, VolkerFitzpatrick), Alstom, Arup, ASL JV (Acciona, Sisk, Lagan), Atkins, and Balfour;
- The creation of the UK’s first Certificate of Higher Education in High Speed Rail and Infrastructure, developed in partnership with employers in the rail industry. The new level 4 qualification will ensure that students of the college learn the transferable higher-level skills that employers need to kick-start Britain’s new high speed rail industry and other major infrastructure projects. High Speed Rail Industry Leaders is financing two students to attend this new course in 2017;
- The development of a new trailblazer apprenticeship standard for Digital Information Management, by a dedicated industry group, chaired by Atkins. Promoting best practice across engineering sectors, it will culminate in a common industry standard for digitally managing information.