neil tobin and dan walker ntar visitStudents from Northampton College have been given the opportunity to earn a ‘fast-track’ progression to a leading apprenticeship programme as part of National Rail Week.

The National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR), based in Kings Heath, will offer one student from the college’s engineering course the chance to earn a place on the Siemens Rail Systems Rail Engineering apprenticeship scheme, giving them the chance to work for one of the world’s leading engineering companies.

The winning student will be selected next year upon completion of their studies. They will win a work experience placement at Siemens and will be fast-tracked onto the selection process for the apprenticeship programme.

Dan Walker, head of apprenticeship delivery at NTAR, visited the students as part of National Rail Week to explain more about the scheme and explained the opportunities available to apprentices.

He said: “The railway industry has an aging workforce with a lot of older people who will shortly be retiring. We have to attract new blood to not only replace these people, but bring fresh ideas and perspectives into the railway. Apprenticeships are a vital way of doing that.

“With the level of government investment in new technologies and approaches to running the railway, it’s an exciting time to be working in the industry.

“We enjoy an exceptional relationship with Northampton College and are proud of the programme we have developed together - giving learners a path to technical, occupational, and professional competence in the railway. We are looking forward to seeing who will be crowned our Student of the Year for 2018.”

Apprentices studying at NTAR will have access to cutting-edge training facilities and be able to gain valuable knowledge of the different aspects of rail engineering – from the maintenance of rolling stock to the installation of telecommunications systems. The learners will benefit from a close relationship between the college, the academy, and their employer.

Neil Tobin, an engineering lecturer at Northampton College, said: “This is a fabulous opportunity for our students. We are extremely fortunate to have NTAR on our doorstep which is leading the way in preparing the next generation of railway engineers.”

For more information on engineering courses available at Northampton College visit

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Louisa Ashman

Louisa Ashman

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