Case Study: Transport Infrastructure Skills Board

Network Rail Apprentices

Case Study: Transport Infrastructure Skills Board

“The TISB (and formerly the Rail Skills Board) brought together a healthy mix of industry leaders, SMEs and educational providers to explore the demands of the evolving infrastructure landscape, with a view to thoroughly understanding the forecast resourcing and educational requirements of the employers. 

This approach has gifted the provider network with real-time employer led intelligence, which has empowered them to shape the local educational offering to meet the skills and educational demands of local employers/projects.  In the medium-term, this means that young people will be better prepared, will be more work-ready, and suitably equipped with employer valued employability skills when they leave FE and HE.” James Richards, Engineering Capability Manager Network Rail and Chairman of the TISB

In December 2017 we set up the Transport Infrastructure Skills Board to build on previous rail sector skills development activities. This brought together major employers such as Network Rail, Atkins, Unipart Rail, OSL Rail, Bombardier, Amey and Jacobs with education and training providers, local colleges and universities; alongside policy makers to identify and address the skills issues and challenges facing the sector in the coming years.

The need for the Board was identified by The Skills & Growth Company* in response to a large number of major investment projects in the pipeline, such as the proposed HS2 track and station investment in and around Crewe and local road upgrades including the Congleton and Middlewich bypass schemes.

In its first year, the Board has provided the employer voice and sector intelligence to a Cheshire East Construction Skills ‘deep dive’ and action plan, supported the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) sub-regional skills report, strategically engaged with partners such as the Constellation Partnership, HS2 Ltd, National Skills Academy for Rail, and the Cheshire and Warrington LEP, and collaborated on a number of projects and activities which aim to encourage more young people into rail, engineering and construction careers.

The Cheshire East Enterprise Adviser Network, which supports secondary schools to increase the amount and effectiveness of employer encounters for students, has worked with the Board to secure Enterprise Advisers from member organisations including; Balfour Beatty, CITB, Network Rail, CKJV and Kier, to ensure local young people are aware and inspired by the range of career opportunities the sector offers.

Approximately 200 businesses associated with the rail and transport sector are based in Cheshire East; around 9 times the UK average.

*Please note this case study was published before The Skills & Growth Company was brought back into the Council’s Economic Development Service.

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