STUDENT’S EYES OPENED TO ENGINEERING CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AT IRAIL 2013
iRail returned to Derby College’s historic Roundhouse for the fourth time on Tuesday 12th March, calling on the industry to address the growing skills gap whilst inspiring students with the exciting career opportunities available within the rail sector.
Following tours of Bombardier and Network Rail’s East Midlands Control Centre, pupils from across eleven Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire schools discovered the wide variety of jobs available within an industry that is set for billions of pounds of investment over the next few years. As in previous years, the 60 plus students then answered a question relating to an engineering problem, presenting their findings to a panel of industry experts. After great deliberation, Sin Fin Community School took home the top title with their solution to preventing copper theft on railway lines.
Organised by the Transport iNet working with the Young Railway Professionals (YRP), Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum (DDRF), Derby Railway Engineering Society (DRES), The National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and supported by Derby City Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), iRail 2013 began with a networking event around ‘encouraging young people into rail engineering’. The event closed with a distinguished lecture, this year presented by Peter Dearman, Head of Energy at Network Rail.
This prestigious part of the day attracts the cream of the industry and discussed the timely subject of the challenges presented by the recently announced rolling programme of electrification and the “Electric Spine” which includes freight and passenger routes through the East Midlands.
Dave Saunders, Chair of iRail, said: “ As an industry that is vital to the economy of the East Midlands and the UK as a whole, attracting the next generation into the rail sector is crucial. Yet again, we have been astounded by the level of enthusiasm expressed by the pupils and the quality of their presentations. iRail presents further evidence that we are cultivating some fantastic home grown talent – we now need to connect them with the right career opportunities by encouraging the industry to shout about its strengths as loudly as possible.”
The Transport iNet is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with the aim of increasing the level of innovation in the East Midlands, thus helping to improve business competitiveness, margins, sustainability and growth. It enables specific sectors to work together, share ideas, technologies, intelligence, innovation and create a link between industry and the academic community.