Students on the course at Edinburgh College

Edinburgh College has launched a new railway engineering course that equips students with all the skills they need to gain employment within the rail and construction industry. Ten students have already started the 16-week NVQ Railway Engineering course, and VGC Labour Solutions is guaranteeing job interviews for all graduating students.

Students who pass will have the chance to go straight into a job with VGC, working on regional projects such as the £650m Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP), a major enhancement of the rail links between Scotland’s main two cities.

The training is delivered at the college’s Granton Campus, where students learn practical skills in a safe simulation environment. A key part of the training is ensuring the students are aware of the main safety risks when working on the rail infrastructure. To achieve this, one trainee per day acts as the controller of site safety (COSS), as if the team were working on a live railway.

Graham Piggott, director of VGC Labour Solutions North, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Edinburgh College. The students are learning key skills from experienced trainers who are passing on their knowledge of working safely on construction and rail. At the end of their course we will gain well-trained, keen members of our local workforce, who will work on Scotland’s important infrastructure projects.”

John Laing, head of the Institute of Construction and Building Crafts at Edinburgh College, said: “This project is a great example of working with industry partners to deliver work-ready employees that meet their needs and will help them develop their business. It’s also a brilliant opportunity for students to find employment and work in an industry that’s delivering some really exciting projects.

“Within just 16 weeks, students will learn the practical skills and knowledge to hit the ground running when they enter the workplace, and which will allow them to develop their careers over the long term and find new opportunities.”

As well as the NVQ level 2 Railway Engineering, students will also receive a full personal track safety (PTS) and track induction (TIC), a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card and a full medical, which will allow them to begin work immediately.