Drive to aid heritage railways
Service - Group
Manchester-based Vital Skills Training is training a recently-recruited team of apprentices to help maintain heritage railways at Epping Ongar and Stoke-On-Trent.
Vital Skills Training is one of the largest suppliers of training services to the rail, energy, mechanical & electrical and construction sectors and is supporting sister company, Vital Rail, with an ambitious target to recruit 270 apprentices by June 2012.
More than a quarter of this number (72) will work alongside a pool of volunteers to carry out renewals and new work at heritage Foxfield Steam Railway at Stoke-On-Trent and maintain the Epping Ongar Railway heritage line, whilst also working towards providing passengers with a connection to the London Underground, in partnership with Transport for London.
Each of the 270 apprentices will be recruited by Vital Rail and will complete an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Rail Engineering - a qualification for those with ambition to become engineers in the rail transport industry, working on on the permanent way, signalling/telecommunication or electrification.
Vital is already well underway with its recruitment drive, with 24 apprentices working at Epping and a number of apprentice interviews lined up over forthcoming weeks.
Underground services were suspended on the Epping Ongar line in 1994 and since then it has been preserved as a heritage railway. Work is underway to restore the track, signals and trains to allow the railway to once again run steam and diesel-hauled passenger trains.
Lawrence Dobie, operations manager at Vital Skills Training, commented: “With youth unemployment high on the agenda and several significant rail infrastructure projects on the horizon, now is the ideal time to begin recruiting new and enthusiastic rail workers to breathe new life into the industry and ensure that Britain is well prepared to have a rail workforce of the future.
“We are delighted that our apprentices have already begun work at Epping Ongar Railway heritage line and hope that they will quickly begin to see the tangible benefits that their work is doing.”
External Link - Epping Ongar