A programme to train skilled railway workers who will spearhead a £2 billion initiative to electrify Britain’s rail network has got underway in Doncaster and Glasgow.
The first 24 trainees have been recruited from the area around the two centres of excellence created by Carillion Rail and SPL Powerlines and have started work on the year long course which is part of an initial three year training programme.
Network Rail has named Carillion as one of the top tier preferred suppliers for the electrification project, which will run from 2014 to 2019.
Meanwhile, SPL Powerlines is an established niche player in the field of overhead line work, carrying out contracts across Central and Northern Europe.
SPL has made a significant investment in creating a purpose-built training facility at its base on Potteric Carr Industrial Estate in Doncaster.
The new centre will be used by staff who will be installing and maintaining the new overhead lines across the country.
Industry experts estimate that by 2016, the rail electrification sector will need upwards of 2,000 skilled linemen - 10 times as many as currently work in the sector.
The partnership between Carillion and SPL is committed to helping overcome this challenge and has invested in training facilities that will help increase the number of skilled linemen available to the industry.