The National College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster to help tackle the UK’s skills shortage for the HS2 project has been officially launched.
The new employer-led college is the largest of five new national colleges created by the government to ensure British workers can learn world-class high speed rail skills.
The development has been supported by Doncaster Council, which helped secure funding for the scheme as well as being involved with the design and construction of the college.
With a second campus in Birmingham, the new college will train 150 learners across both sites during the 2017-18 academic year. At full capacity the college will train 1,200 learners a year.
The National College for High Speed Rail is focused on solving the skills gap in Britain within the engineering, design, planning, manufacturing and construction sectors.
This comes as billions of pounds is set to be invested in modernising Britain’s rail network and wider transport infrastructure.
Over the next five years it is estimated that businesses in Britain will need 182,000 new engineers every year. Right now, it is falling short by 69,000 engineers a year.
The rail industry faces even further skills shortages, with one in five rail engineers currently aged over-55.
With Britain’s move into high speed rail and HS2 set to create 25,000 new jobs including 2,000 apprenticeships; careers in this industry are set to become more sought after.
The campus on Carolina Way in Doncaster has been equipped with cutting edge technology, including virtual reality training on board a Eurostar power car, an augmented reality classroom, and a dedicated BIM (building information modelling) cave.
The college will help generate the workforce of the future, who will design and build the UK’s new high-speed rail network and future infrastructure projects.
It has recently created the UK’s first Certificate of Higher Education (CHE) in High Speed Rail and Infrastructure.