West Midlands Trains supports Year of Engineering

Rail company boost for education and training.

West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway are getting behind a government drive to encourage more young people to get into engineering.

The engineering industry estimates it will need 186,000 skilled recruits each year to 2024. The company behind the two train operators, West Midlands Trains, plans to invest £70 million in its train maintenance facilities, including a new depot at Duddeston, Birmingham. The extra facilities will be needed to support £700 million worth of new trains on order for the two networks.

West Midlands Trains also plans to recruit and train 900 apprentices across its two businesses over the next eight years, including in engineering. The company already runs an industry leading engineering trailblazer apprenticeship scheme in partnership with the National Training Academy for Rail in Northampton and Birmingham Metropolitan College.

West Midlands Trains’ engineering director, Neil Bamford, said “The Year of Engineering is a great initiative. Rail travel has never been more popular and investment is at record levels. With demand predicted to grow even higher we will need more engineers to create and maintain extra trains and infrastructure. That’s why I would encourage any young person to take a good look building a career in engineering.”

For more information about the Year of Engineering go to www.yearofengineering.gov.uk