Thales and Prospects College launch new apprenticeship scheme for young rail engineers

A new apprenticeship scheme to recruit and train the next generation of highly-skilled rail engineers has been launched by Thales and Prospects College , one of the UK’s leading technical and vocational group training providers.

Thales is one of the world’s leading providers of signalling solutions and integrated transportation systems and services for mainline rail and urban transport. In the UK, Thales is working with London Underground on upgrading the Northern Line and Jubilee Line signalling systems and operating and maintaining the Underground’s radio communications network.

Thales selected Prospects College as its training partner to develop and manage the programme. Apprentices will be trained to work on signalling and communications installation, testing and commissioning and on-going maintenance and services. The new apprenticeship scheme will supplement Thales’s successful graduate recruitment programme, offering an alternative approach to maintaining the company’s skills base. The scheme ensures that, by the end of the apprenticeship, the young engineers will have had 3-4 years to work in and fully understand the Thales business. On completion, the apprentices will have received a full range of technical and specialist rail training.

Prospects College will provide a complete apprenticeship management service to Thales, including the recruitment of the apprentices, planning of the four-year apprenticeship, delivery of the engineering practical and theory training, and assessment of competence in the workplace.

Alistair McPhee, Vice President of Ground Transportation Systems for Thales in the UK, says: “For Thales to stay at the forefront of signalling and related rail infrastructure projects in the UK, and more broadly for the UK to have the right level of engineering skills to meet future demand, we must ensure that the right training programmes are in place. Our new apprenticeship programme will offer in-depth and comprehensive training for young people who want to combine learning and working. Today’s launch demonstrates Thales’s commitment to the UK transport sector now and for many years into the future.”

Neil Bates, Group Chief Executive of Prospects College, says: “We feel privileged to have been selected by Thales to deliver these exciting new technician apprenticeship opportunities. There is an urgent need to attract talented young people into the rail industry and to grow the next generation of skilled engineers to replace those that are retiring over the coming years. These new advanced apprenticeships offer young people an alternative pathway through to higher education, and they will complete an apprenticeship having been paid for the duration of the programme and with no University debt. It is a wonderful opportunity.”

Prospects College, established in 1969, is a premier provider of Advanced Apprenticeships in the engineering, aviation, rail and defence industries. The company has five technical centres in Essex, just half-an-hour outside of London.

Commenting on the new scheme, Vic Grimes, Divisional Apprenticeship Director (London and South East) for the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “The National Apprenticeship Service has been working closely with Thales, and I am delighted to hear of the launch of their apprenticeship programme. Working alongside Prospects College they will provide fantastic long-term career opportunities for talented and committed young people. This programme demonstrates that apprenticeships are a real alternative to university for intelligent and ambitious people who want to earn while working towards recognised qualifications and a rewarding career. At the National Apprenticeship Service we work with employers across all sectors who increasingly recognise the value and loyalty apprentices bring to their companies.”


Source : Thales

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