Unveiled by Rail Minister Claire Perry, the £7m academy has received 50 per cent of its funding from the UK government. Rail is becoming an increasingly digitised industry, and facilities at NTAR include the latest digital signalling equipment, a de-constructed train and a virtual reality and 3D simulation room where students can use Oculus Rift headsets to aid their learning.
“The government is investing billions of pounds in rail and road projects, which will create thousands of exciting new job opportunities,” said Perry.
According to the Department for Transport, developing colleges and academies to support UK road and rail is a central part of the government’s transport and infrastructure skills strategy. It says there are plans in place to create 30,000 apprenticeships in these industries over the next five years, and Crossrail chair Terry Morgan was appointed over the summer to help implement this strategy.
“Industry-led training will ensure that learners are getting the skills employers want, while many rail firms have also designed new apprenticeship standards for roles like rail engineering technician to deliver the skills needed for UK rail to expand here and internationally.”