Warwick Trident College has partnered with one of the country’s largest telecommunications companies to provide a stream of new talent for its railway infrastructure division.
Telent, which is headquartered in Warwick, will be working with the college to train new apprentices to support its railway telecommunications workforce.
The firm, which employs nearly 100 apprentices across the business, is already training five rail apprentices through the college and is expecting that number to nearly double next year.
Apprentices will complete their rail engineering technician qualifications over the course of a three-year apprenticeship through WCG, which involves working trackside all over the country for Telent and studying in blocks at Warwick Trident College.
Richard Giddings, Graduate and Apprenticeship Manager at Telent, said: “We’re excited to be strengthening our relationship with WCG and working closely with the college to bring through the next generation of workers for our rail telecommunications provision.
“We were previously working with a provider based in London because there was a belief you had to go there for high-quality apprenticeships. However, after meeting with WCG we realised that wasn’t the case and we were able to support a local institution by moving our apprentices up to Warwickshire.
“Our rail teams are key workers and essential to keeping the country moving.
“By working with the college, we are hoping to be able to bring a steady stream of rail specialist skilled apprentices through to future proof our workforce. “
Mum-of-three Selina Hearne, from Birmingham, is one of the first students to be taking the apprenticeship through Telent and WCG. She decided to pursue a career change at the age of 37, after a career in administration and leaving a job as a bus inspector.
She said: “I’ve always wanted to go into engineering since I was at school, but I was part of generation where girls weren’t allowed to join the technical classes in school. This apprenticeship has allowed me to follow that passion, rewind 20 years and go back to school.
“It’s been a massive learning curve for me, but I would never have thought I’d be here five years ago.
“I’ve been learning how to install, and test new equipment and it’s been great so far, we go into college for three-week blocks, learn skills and put them into practice in the field.
“There wasn’t any age limit on the apprenticeship with Telent. I felt like I needed to set an example for my teenage daughter and now I’m on the path to a new career.”
Andrew Moore, Work Based Learning Manager for Engineering at WCG, said: “Rail is a specialist industry and many people won’t be aware of the career opportunities available in the sector.
“We’re working in partnership with Telent to ensure the training being delivered is tailored to the requirements of the business and perfectly prepares students for their day-to-day roles.
“It has been a strong start to the relationship, and we look forward to further strengthening that partnership over the next few years.”
The Government’s apprenticeship incentive scheme closes on 31 March 2021. Ahead of the deadline businesses will be entitled to payments of £2,000 for apprentices aged between 16 and 24 and £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over.
To find out more about apprenticeships, contact WCG’s Business Development Team on 0330 135 6940
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