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Students who are members of the Engineering Rail Skills Academy at Derby College recently attended and helped facilitate activities for school pupils at the iRail 2018 East Midlands event at Derby Conference Centre.
The Skills Academy is part of an innovative programme involving Rail Forum East Midlands’ member companies and Derby College to raise the profile of the range of careers available to young people across the industry.
Companies also provide specialist lectures, special projects and work experience opportunities for students at the College.
Their involvement at iRail 2018 East Midlands included supporting 13 school teams who joined STEM-related activities, including the iRail Bridge Building Challenge, and learnt more about the careers available in the rail industry.
Students started the day with site visits to Bombardier, the Network Rail Mobile Maintenance Train at Etches Park Depot and Resonate.
Bombardier wowed students with exclusive access to the train production line, revealing a glimpse of the new CrossRail, London Train which will run on the newly built Elizabeth line.
Sponsor of the East Midlands event, Resonate, provided students with the opportunity to interact with signalling experts and witness first hand their Traffic Management Technology ‘Luminate’ in action, putting Digital Railway Technology firmly on the map.
Students were also impressed by the £6 million Mobile Maintenance Train (MMT) also known as the ‘Workshop on Wheels’ at Network Rail’s Etches Park Depot where they had the chance to climb aboard and see first-hand where the engineers work day to day to keep the train tracks safe and accessible.
This MMT is one of only 8 in the UK, giving the pupils a rare chance to see behind the scenes of rail maintenance. Access to career information and their pathways enabled students to explore opportunities, whilst embedding the iRail ethos giving industry leaders an opportunity to share innovation.
Running alongside the main iRail event a teacher’s rail industry awareness workshop was held to help educate teachers about the 21st century railway and the jobs and careers potentially available to their students.