The next generation of train drivers have enrolled in the new Transport for Wales (TfW) apprenticeship program, the first of its kind in Wales.
TfW became the first rail operator in the UK to offer an accredited NVQ Level 3 qualification in train driver operations as part of its apprenticeship.
She hopes to have more than 100 registered apprentices by the end of the year and aims to recruit around 100 each year over the next five years.
Adam Bagwell, Head of Operations Training at Transport for Wales, said: “I am absolutely proud and delighted that we are now able to offer a recognized Level 3 qualification and apprenticeship for train drivers for the whole time. first time in Wales.
“It has been a long time, and the hard work of our training team in partnership with the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) Train Driver Academy, Coleg y Cymoedd and the National Train Drivers Union, ASLEF, has now focused its fruits.
“The role of the train driver is a professional and highly skilled job and our drivers deserve recognition for their hard work through training in the form of this qualification. This shows that we are committed to providing the best possible training for our drivers in Wales and boarders. “
Deputy Climate Change Minister for Transport Lee Waters said: “The creation of Transport for Wales was not only about improving public transport, but also about bringing other benefits to our communities. Hiring apprentices in high paying jobs is a great example of how we do both. “
The first eight drivers to join the apprenticeship are Kevin Whitlock, Drew Bradley, Robyn Williams, Richard Lee Hext, Joel David Hier, Rhys William, Stephen Edward Jones and Michael Davies.
Matthew Tucker, Deputy Director – Business Services at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “Coleg y Cymoedd is delighted to partner with TFW in supporting the development of the first Level 3 Train Driver Apprenticeship in Wales.
“We have been working with TFW for almost 2 years, supporting development and training in various departments. Train Driver Level 3 is the first in Wales and generates new opportunities and ensures consistency across the UK.
“There have been huge investments in infrastructure and transport development across Wales, creating this learning ensures that education and skills development is a critical part. “
TfW has invested heavily in its training facilities including new train and platform simulators and all of its driver trainers have recently started or completed an NVQ Level 3 qualification in learning and development.
Mick Whelan, General Secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, added: “We are delighted that the first accredited train driving qualification in Wales is finally in place.
“This is a big step forward for training, for train drivers, for the railroad and for Wales.”