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18 October 2017 by Lydia

​Staff are probably more aware now than ever before about the risk posed by excessive travel to and from railway worksites, yet it continues to be an issue. Where engineering skills are in short supply, staff will often need drafting in from far afield. Any major future infrastructure projects with work sites that span large geographical areas have the potential to compound the problem.

To help solve this, MPI has been working with Siemens Rail Automation for the past five years to fill a void in the industry for signalling installation technicians. Last month, the first intake of rail signalling installation trainees to support signalling schemes in Scotland were welcomed at Siemens’ new Cambuslang depot just outside of Glasgow, where they will be based.

Eighteen MPI trainees have been selected to take part. “A lot of them are asking what’s the catch?” said Simon Henser, a director at MPI. “The catch is they’ve got to be committed and got to show a great attitude towards safety.”
Trainees will complete Basic Signalling 1 (BS1) and BS2 courses, which will give them the underpinning knowledge and experience in railway signalling they need to become IRSE-licensed installers.

Trainees initially undertake a 12-week work experience placement before completing a 10-day signalling engineering BS1/BS2/SPWEE course. They then work as a trainee installer for six to nine months before working through a six-day electrical installation course.

Read more about the scheme in Rail Engineer here.