Monday, March 4, 2019

In National Apprenticeship Week New Trainee Train Driver Scheme Launched

Logistics Skills Shortage Addressed in One Sector
Shipping News Feature
UK – There has been much talk lately about the crucial shortage of HGV and LGV drivers, something affecting the road haulage sector, as well as the general skills shortage right across the logistics industry. It seems that DB Cargo has decided to ensure it at least has a secure supply chain of trained personnel to handle its freight trains with a new Level 3 Train Driver Apprenticeship programme, launched in conjunction with the National College for High Speed Rail.

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. The National College for High Speed Rail is the main apprenticeship provider, with DB Cargo UK providing the technical driver training.

DB Cargo UK’s Apprenticeships Manager Kerrie Talbot said the programme further strengthened the company’s working relationship with the college which stands just a stone’s throw from DB’s headquarters in Lakeside, Doncaster, continuing:

“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. 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.

“A special thank you to Marie Orchard, Apprenticeship Standards from NSAR, who brought the trailblazer group together, and all the rail companies that worked on creating an apprenticeship standard for train drivers that works for the industry. 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.

“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.”

To this end as well as being trained to drive trains, the apprenticeship standard also covers a range of wider topics including leadership, professional development, customer services, commercial awareness, safety, health and wellbeing.

The company already collaborates with the college on the delivery of engineering apprenticeships and supports National Apprenticeship Week 2019 (4 – 8 March). DB Cargo UK employs more than 110 apprentices with plans to double that number in 2019 and 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.