Manchester-based Vital Services Group is setting up a new training academy at the Soapworks, in Salford.
The move will see the creation of 20 posts, including managers, trainers and administrators.
Situated within a 20,000 sq ft space at the Boilerhouse and comprising 16 classrooms and workshops, the academy will have the capacity to support up to 258 trainees, including commercial learners and apprentices.
Vital recruited more than 300 rail engineering apprentices during 2012, a third of which are based in Manchester. The remaining apprentices are based at other Vital training academies across the country including York, Leicester, Kidderminster and London.
As part of its growth strategy, Vital will be launching a new range of training and apprenticeship programmes in rail, power and technology to help address the growing need for skilled staff in these sectors. The training provider, which was graded ‘outstanding’ in July 2012 following an inspection by the National Skills Academy for Rail Engineering (NSARE), is one of only six in the UK to hold this grade.
New contract wins
Says Lawrence Dobie, education and training director at Vital, ‘Energy, utilities and technology are within our specialisms and a raft of new contract wins, combined with recent government announcements regarding infrastructure investment, highlights the need to ensure that there is a skilled workforce available to deliver such projects.
‘By 2024 the UK power industry will need to have recruited around 45,000 to 55,000 new employees and, alongside this, technology skills are becoming increasingly sought after so it’s important for us, as an engineering and training company, to act now.
‘We are recruiting now for a number of administrative, managerial and training positions. In addition to providing employment opportunities, our Salford training academy will provide specialised training to employers in the rail, power and technology sectors to equip their people with the skills and qualifications they need to work efficiently and effectively.’
Vital’s target for 2013 is to recruit apprentices aged between 16 and 24 years old across the UK in areas including software engineering, installation and maintenance, and overhead power line engineering.