Based in Wales, ARC Academy UK was established in June 2011 to deliver workplace skills to the longterm unemployed in rail engineering, health and social care, construction and call centres. We added Railway Engineering Level 2 apprenticeships to our portfolio, also branching into other areas including health and social care and construction. What we do: apprenticeships
ARC Academy delivers railway engineering apprenticeships with a tailormade scheme that ensures its apprentices gain skills and knowledge that sllow them to start working straight away. Our first priority is to engage with employers to find out what they want and need. Listening to them enables us to develop bespoke apprenticeship programmes.
We’re flexible when putting together the components of an apprenticeship, but it always covers the essentials; delivering programmes that ensure employers never have to seek addons or additional staff training.
We provide additional training outside of the apprenticeship framework, and each apprentice can expect to receive the following additional mandatory courses:
Lookout training can also be offered, depending on the apprentice’s progress. ARC Academy UK currently has seven delivery sites across the country, which provide convenient locations with excellent transport links:
Every site has training facilities and a live railway track that gives apprentices the chance to gain realwork experience, and the apprentices receive full training from ARC’s qualified trainers. A site supervisor is allocated to each group to ensure the experience on track is a full and knowledgeable one.
ARC is developing a new delivery site in Treforest which will include a 49m track, where we will deliver track induction courses and machine controller courses to our commercial customers. It will also be home to our railway engineering apprentices during their 13week initial induction.
ARC’s nationwide centres take the form of a classroomled programme, delivered in one or two days a week, or as a fulltime arrangement over 13 weeks. During these sessions, apprentices carry out a variety of track maintenance activities on the live running rail tracks. Industry experts visit apprentices in the workplace to perfect each aspect of their role and to guarantee that every apprenticeship is both challenging and rewarding.
Assessments are also carried out by ARC Academy’s training staff, either through observation, tasks and assignments, or the testimony of line managers or experienced work colleagues. Success rates are high on average, most apprenticeships are completed in 12 months.
It is important that employers understand that apprenticeships are an extremely effective way to fill skills gaps. This is especially the case in sectors such as railwhere ARC focuses a lot of its training which is facing a decline in knowledge, skills and experience as its ageing workforce gets closer to retirement.
Having a strong apprenticeship programme can also improve a company’s competitive edge because it is considered a real pluspoint when bidding for contracts. Furthermore, staff who are being valued by their employers and are therefore more likely to be loyal and committed.
Apprenticeships provide a highly effective route to a good career – for example, in sectors such as engineering it is possible to progress from apprenticeship to fellowship. Crucially, apprentices can earn a good wage while they train, and quickly improve and develop their knowledge and skills. There is very little personal cost because most training is subsidised by the government and their employer.