Rail academy to get sector skills back on track

Rail industry HR professionals have backed plans for a national training
centre in a bid to tackle the industry’s crippling skills shortages.

The Strategic Rail Authority will this month start consulting with the 240
rail operators about the shape of the National Rail Academy.

The NRA will aim to improve the skills of rail staff as part of the
Government’s 10-year plan to overhaul the rail system.

David Maitland, HR director at Connex Trains believes that, if structured
properly, the NRA can boost skills in five years.

"The NRA can give the industry a co-ordinated long-term approach to the
skills problem. What train companies should do is allow NRA to use the best of
their training equipment," he said.

Jacques Goodall, head of personnel at Thames Trains said: "I welcome
the centre and the extra focus and resources it will bring to training in this
industry."

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