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On The Rail: Salford’s new apprentices

On The Rail: Salford’s new apprentices - 02/11/2011

As part of a new series looking at apprenticeships in Salford, Salford Online, we went to Vital Skills Training – part of Vital Rail in Ordsall – to meet their new young crop of trainees.
With everyone from the Prime Minister to the head of the CBI decrying the lack of skilled workers in Britain, a good apprenticeship is something that employees and young people should be queueing up for.Lead assessor and trainer at the Ordsall Lane centre Rob Clark told us: “As a country we’ve lost the ability to maintain our own infrastructure.”Which is where these 60 new trainees come in.The apprentices were sourced through Salford City College, who set themselves the challenge of recruiting 500 new trainees in 2011.

The trainees will spend 12 weeks full time in the classroom and learning on the Vital Rail practice rail track.

Vital Rail will then take on the apprentices when the training course finishes in 12 months’ time.

It is expected that the trainees will be mentored by their teachers to gain further qualifications, but the question is: is 12 months theoretical work long enough to impart the skills these young people need?

The Chief Executive of Crossrail in London, Terry Morgan, said that his apprenticeship lasted five years, and anything less meant that apprentice providers were “kidding themselves”.

It’s a hypothesis we’ll test as we follow two young apprentices, Lewis Brown and Matt Hall through their training course at Vital Rail.

Read more and see the video at Salford Online.

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