A new rail training centre in Greater Manchester will train more than 10,000 people by 2020, says owner ISS Labour.
The facility in Salford, which has a twin-track replica of the West Coast Main Line, will help address the acute shortage of qualified linesmen needed to deliver major Network Rail electrification programmes.
ISS Labour, which recently supported the delivery of track lowering works in Box Tunnel, employs 650 people around the UK, of which 200 are based in the North West.
Simon Higgens, chief executive of ISS Labour, said: “As part of its ongoing investment work to support rising demand for Britain’s rail services, Network Rail is electrifying hundreds of miles of track across the country. Clearly this creates long-term demand for skilled engineers to carry out this specialist work.
“The investment in our new state-of-the-art training centre is part of our focus on serving the Overhead Line Electrification (OLE) needs of the industry.
“It enables us to upskill our own workforce, meeting the needs of our OLE customers, and also to provide an in-demand training service for external customers working across the industry.”