The rail industry is stepping up efforts to attract young people to the cause this summer with a special course at Bath University.
Says Gil Howarth, Chief Executive of NSARE, ‘We are delighted to be working with The Smallpeice Trust and LRF to raise awareness of the exciting career opportunities railway engineering can offer young people.’
Over 100 potential teenage engineers attended the three day taster course at Bath University. Organised by the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation the course explored the design, construction and operation of railways.
The 13-14 year olds looked at railway engineering through a series of presentations and practical exercises. Working in teams, they tackled real-life challenges on projects designed and facilitated by young engineers from industry.
The companies taking part were Babcock Rail, FirstGroup plc, Network Rail and Transport for London. Projects included designing and building: a railway track complete with bends, bridges and tunnels and an operational signalling system.
Says Eileen Kinghan, Director of Grants at LRF, ‘For a third year, LRF agreed to support Smallpeice’s railway engineering Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Days and a residential course. The Smallpeice initiatives give young people an understanding of the skills they need to develop to equip them for the new and increasing opportunities that we are seeing in this fast-moving sector.’
The LRF and NSARE are also sponsoring an advanced Railway Systems Engineering course for 15 to 17 year olds this summer which will take place at the University of Birmingham.
Says Dr Andrew Cave, Chief Executive of the Smallpeice Trust, ‘We are most grateful for the continuing support from NSARE and LRF on this programme. Rail is one of the greenest forms of transport and massive investment is being injected into our railway infrastructure.
‘Giving young people the opportunity to discover for themselves the excitement, challenge and reward of a career in railway engineering is vital in encouraging the engineers of tomorrow while equipping them to meet the social, environmental and economic challenges of the future.’