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Scot-Train: Skilling a flexible workforce

The general manager of training provider Scot-Train, Sandy Murray, says one of his company’s focuses is on flexible workforce development – finding where rail industry skills overlap with other industries and how skills from other sectors can find a home on the railway.

The term was adopted by the Scottish government for the launch of a new £10 million fund in September to promote the up-skilling and re-skilling of Scotland’s workforce to address emerging skills gaps.

New facility

Scot-Train is part of SWGR, a specialist services provider which was established in 1985, and began life as Scotweld Employment Services Limited. Based in Glasgow, the company has service centres around the UK.

Over the past 30 or so years, the company has added to its offering and now has various other divisions, including rail infrastructure contracting services, industrial supplies and labour supply.

SWGR’s core business has always been to supply and train rail professionals to deliver multi-disciplinary projects. The company proudly promotes its involvement in the Borders Railway project and the electrification of the Edinburgh-Glasgow main line.

In March, Scot-Train opened a new training facility in Petershill Road, Glasgow. The company is now keen to promote the opportunity the facility represents for the rail sector in Scotland.

The Petershill Road site, which is located close to Barnhill railway station, is Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) approved and licensed to deliver Network Rail training and assessment courses, including track induction, personal track safety and overhead line electrification. Facilities include three training rooms, a conference room, an IT suite, as well as a full-scale track and overhead line facility.

New avenues

‘We’re planning to diversify into other areas to increase our portfolio as well,’ said Sandy.

The opening of the new training centre effectively doubled Scot-Train’s training capacity, but Sandy is quick to highlight the company’s presence around the country. As well as the Glasgow site, Scot-Train has another NSAR-accredited facility in Rochester – this is on top of the training it provides for customers at their own premises.

Scot-Train currently has a team of five trainers and is looking to expand and explore new avenues. The company already offers occupational health services to rail clients from its medical centre in Glasgow, but Sandy says he sees an opening to pursue opportunities in the construction and engineering market at large.

‘We have the facilities available to offer a one-stop provision for rail, construction, welding, occupational health and many other training services, and can tailor courses to specifically meet clients’ requirements. We want to build on our existing reputation as a trusted provider of training services to expand our offering to other sectors, and I believe we are now in an excellent position to do so.’

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