Newly appointed Transport Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP has officially launched BMet’s new Rail Academy. The Academy launch tied in with the Year of Engineering; a 2018 campaign to tackle the engineering skills gap and widen the pool of young people who join the profession.
There is currently an annual shortfall of 69,000 rail engineers. 14,000 digital technology jobs are also set to be created in the West Midlands over the next decade.
BMet has collaborated with transport and construction employers to provide qualifications and apprenticeshipsmatched to in-demand engineering and digital technology jobs, as well as operational and business support roles.
Transport Minister, Nusrat Ghani said: “I was delighted to launch the BMet Rail Academy which will be crucial in training the next generation of world class engineers. As part of the Year of Engineering, we want to show young people from all backgrounds the variety of work and opportunities that lie in engineering, and how careers in the profession are a chance to shape the future of this country and have a real impact on the lives of those around them.”
A CBI report published this month on Improving Skills Delivery in England identified that an overall 20% of vacancies in the West Midlands were hard to fill due to skills shortages. A training provision tailored by sector, occupation and level was regarded as the best way of equipping people with industry relevant, transferrable skills.
BMet Principal and Chief Executive, Andrew Cleaves commented:
“Our academy model allows rail companies to take a hands-on approach to get the skills they need in the coming years.
“The training we are providing is business led, with employer and sector-specific pathways available for school leavers, jobseekers and those already working in transport and construction.”
“At a time when Birmingham has a lower proportion of individuals qualified to Level 3 and above and with major infrastructure development projects progressing around us, this meets those challenges head on.”
The new Rail Academy has already appointed its first two board members – Kirk Trewin of West Midlands Trains and Rose Rees of Midlands Metro Alliance and is seeking further representation from the rail industry to drive its curriculum.