New collaboration aims to develop the next generation of train drivers
The National College for High Speed Rail is the main apprenticeship provider, with DB Cargo UK providing the technical driver training.
In January 2019, seven apprentices started their 18-month apprenticeship programme. The apprenticeship will provide the trainees with a recognised qualification to validate their internal technical training and vocational training.
DB Cargo UK’s Apprenticeships Manager, Kerrie Talbot, said: “We are delighted to be the first rail freight company to be involved in the delivery of such a programme. This apprenticeship standard is evidence of what can be achieved when Train Operating Companies, Freight Operating Companies, On-Track Machine Companies, Trade Unions and regulators come together and collaborate.
“There is an acute shortage of train drivers here in the UK and this is an excellent way of developing a new pipeline of talent and creating the next generation of drivers.”
As well as being trained to drive trains, the apprenticeship standard covers a range of wider topics including leadership, professional development, customer services, commercial awareness, safety, health and wellbeing.
“What we want to get across is that being a train driver is not just about getting a train from A to B. We want to ensure that our existing operational staff and drivers of the future receive a recognised qualification and understand the broader context in which they operate and have all the necessary skills to be an ambassador for DB Cargo UK,” continued Kerrie.
The company already collaborates with the college on the delivery of engineering apprenticeships and Kerrie paid tribute to the college’s Chief Executive, Clair Mowbray; Head of Business Engagement, Kathy Howarth; and Curriculum Development Manager, Charles Anderson, for their efforts in getting the delivery model in place to meet DB Cargo’s recruitment pipeline.
“The National College for High Speed Rail understands the needs of rail freight operators and we are delighted to increase our collaboration with the college,” said Kerrie.
The new Level 3 Train Driver Apprenticeship is available to all freight and passenger companies, as well as those companies that operate on-track machinery on the rail network.