The final focus group in our programme of engagement with the supply chain was held at the National Training Academy for Rail  (NTAR), a multi-million pound state-of-the-art facility based in Northampton which acts as an international Centre of Excellence for skills development and collaborative working in the rail industry. NTAR was developed through a public/private partnership between government agencies and HSRIL member company Siemens. The session was hosted by Siemens, with senior representatives welcoming 25 small and medium sized companies in the region from the rail and non-rail supply chain, leading detailed discussions on how UK business can make the most of the HS2 project, and what support they need to connect in to the HS2 supply chain effectively.

Northampton 3

Following the focus group, participants enjoyed a tour of the NTAR facilities, where they were able too appreciate the unique and innovative practical equipment and workshop facilities which enable learners to gain the knowledge and skills required to be ready for operational and technical roles in the industry.

Mark Jones, Business Development Manager, at Applied Inspection Ltd said after the event:

“As an engineering inspection company, the rail industry is vital to our business at Applied. Our future rests on the commercial success of these companies and their involvement in enormous projects with high-speed rail and specifically HS2.

It was interesting to hear the views and contributions of some of the individuals connected with these businesses and the tour of the training facility at NTAR was fascinating.  I did my engineering apprenticeship at Lucas Industries many years ago and although the facilities and equipment were good for the time the rail industry have certainly ‘raised the bar’, the virtual reality headset experience was mind blowing. I know what I want for Christmas now.”