Alstom said it is building a new generation of highly skilled rail engineers with the official launch of its academy in Widnes.
Over the course of the next five years the centre is expected to train 500 apprentices, starting with 20 this autumn.
Five of those apprentices will work in a 80-strong team, which is repainting 56 Pendolinos alongside the academy at Widnes.
The Alstom Academy for Rail will work with other education providers to deliver its apprenticeship programmes.
The training will include safety and maintenance of vehicles such as Alstom’s Pendolino trains, which are used on the West Coast Mainline, or the Citadis trams, which operate on Nottingham’s tram network.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling said, ‘Our rail network is growing and I have been clear we will need thousands more people working in the sector in the years ahead.
‘We are investing £13 billion in transport across the north and there are some great, rewarding careers working on our railways.’