New training partnership, new careers in rail

New training partnership, new careers in rail

The first group of recruits from a new training partnership is about to join VGC.

An innovative partnership between GP Strategies Training Limited and VGC helps unemployed people from deprived areas in Glasgow into work.

The first group of seven recruits has just passed their PTS (personal track safety) qualification; they are about to begin a rewarding and long-term career in rail.

After a day-long introduction to the industry, the men did an e-learning course and passed a medical test. Then they attended a three-week training course, which culminated in the PTS test. All seven passed with flying colours.

The photograph top left shows the group at a COSS briefing by trainer Tony McQuarrie (in the white hard hat). Tony said: “The lads have been a pleasure to train, very keen and on the ball.”

Once they have passed the mandatory drug and alcohol tests – which are essential for anyone who works on the railway – the new recruits will begin work on the flagship Edinburgh to Glasgow improvement programme (EGIP). VGC teams on EGIP are primarily involved in creating foundations for the overhead line foundation stanchions.

Four more people on the same programme are expected to  achieve their PTS qualifications shortly.

The programme provides a route for unemployed people to join an industry which offers tremendous opportunities for a successful career, and will help to combat the industry-wide shortage of skilled workers.

VGC is also working in partnership with Edinburgh College, offering summer work placements and guaranteed interviews to students graduating from the College’s NVQ Railway Engineering course.

Group of training partnership graduates
Back row (L-R): David Aikenhead, Robert Clark, John Wilson, Roy Leyland
Front row: trainer Tony McQuarrie, Shaun Hamilton, Martyn Wilson, GP Strategies’ employment consultant Nancy McMillan, Chris Turner
Group of trainees
(From L): John Wilson, Chris Turner, Martyn Wilson, David Aikenhead, Robert Clark, Roy Leyland, with VGC’s Sean Dempsey who set up the partnership