INFRA Skill’s Ltd are delighted to announce that it has been presented with the award for ‘Proactive Educational Provider of an Apprenticeship Programme’, sponsored by Ascentia Corporate Coaching, at the Education Awards 2019. The event celebrated the outstanding contributions that have been made towards the education industry over the past year.

The night included a variety of keynote speeches from guests which included Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, and TV presenter Suzanne Virdee was also in attendance.
The company was commended for its continuous investment in providing the infrastructure sector with the skills needed to deliver the next generation of industry leaders. The company has achieved this by becoming the first company in the UK to deliver the Level 3 Rail Apprenticeship Standard. This award-winning apprenticeship programme has been designed to address crucial challenges facing the infrastructure sector such as; an aging workforce, lack of diversity and skills shortages.

To help resolve these issues INFRA Skills have created an apprenticeship that provides learners of all ages with a route into the rail sector, honing their scientific, technical, engineering, mathematical and design skillsets.

Over the course of the last 3 years, the company has worked in partnership with Colas Rail to provide their apprentices with the skills and knowledge that are essential to ensuring the company can create a sustainable workforce ready to meet the demands of Control Period 6.

The apprenticeship covers a number of core areas across the sector and caters for a variation of disciplines including: Track, OLE, Signalling and Traction Rolling Stock. Also included as part of the programme is Behavioural Based Safety, Asbestos Awareness and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training.

In conjunction with the ‘on the job learning,’ apprentices are also given track experience through the company’s dedicated training facility based at Seven Valley Railway. The apprentices also benefit from the company’s partnership with the Armed Forces allowing them to develop their lateral thinking, team-building and communication skills by taking part in the ‘Exercise Industry Challenge.’ Upon completion, each apprentice will have satisfied the requirements for registration as an Engineering Technician by the relevant Professional Engineering Institutions.

INFRA Skills have also been recognised for their long-standing history of working to improve working conditions and reducing the skills gap through their partnerships with local agencies, colleges, charities and government departments. The company’s ‘Journey into Rail’ programmes have been designed to help those with disabilities and individuals struggling to find employment, by reducing the number of barriers facing them when seeking work. This fully-funded programme encompasses a wide range of learning techniques including e-learning, tutor-led delivery as well as on-site practical experience at their dedicated training facility at the Severn Valley Railway, Bewdley and includes a guaranteed interview upon completion of the training. The success of this programme has thus far seen over 170 people successfully placed into employment with either RSS Infrastructure Ltd or one its partners since 2017.

Judy Owen, Director of People at INFRA Skills Ltd, commented: “INFRA Skills are excited to have been recognised for their hard work and dedication within the sector, and this award celebrates the success of both the apprenticeship programmes and funded courses, and how they are transforming lives and positively contributing to the infrastructure industry and local community. Winning the ‘Proactive Educational Provider of an Apprenticeship Programme’ award has also given the company the fantastic opportunity to work with Ascentia Corporate Coaching on a project that will help to provide a lasting legacy for the infrastructure sector.”