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Rail academy acknowledged for work with top regional award

A city college has been celebrating after receiving recognition for the work done by its rail training academy.

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The staff from Wolverhampton College's rail training academy were celebrating after winning a prestigious regional award in recognition of their work to equip local people with the skills needed to work in the industry.

National Infrastructure Solutions (NIS), which provides rail training at the college's Transport, Rail and Infrastructure Academy, was named winner of the Engaging Adults in Learning category at the West Midlands Combined Authority's Adult Learning Awards, at the International Convention Centre, in Birmingham, on Thursday, June 27.

Through the partnership with NIS, a leading training provider in the rail and civil engineering sectors, TRIA provides free practical hands-on training for people who want to gain the skills and knowledge required to work on the construction and maintenance of train lines and tram routes across the region.

The three-week full-time courses cover rail awareness, small tools awareness, personal track safety, overhead line electrification, conductor rails and emergency first aid, with training taking place at TRIA sites at the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO)'s Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre in Zoological Drive, and the college's Wellington Road campus in Bilston.

Mal Cowgill, principal and chief executive of the college, said: "Through the college's partnership with NIS we have been able to develop a regional rail training academy to enable local people to gain the skills and knowledge they need to move into careers in the industry.

"This award is testament to the success of the partnership, the quality of the training provided and the positive differences it has made to the lives of hundreds of students who have completed the courses."

Davie Carns, managing director at NIS, said: "We are delighted to have received regional recognition for our rail training programmes and how they are enabling local people to fill much-needed roles in the public transport system across the West Midlands."

Helene Dearn, WMCA’s executive director of employment, skills, health and communities, said: “Celebrating our adult learning champions has been incredibly inspiring.

"The West Midlands is filled with talented people whose enormous potential has been recognised through these awards.

“The WMCA has a bold ambition and clear plans to build a more prosperous and better-connected West Midlands that provides opportunities for us all to thrive.

"Learning and skills are at the heart of our plans and these awards showcase the incredible work already changing peoples’ lives.

“This year we are especially proud to showcase the impact that employers, colleges and training providers can have when they work in partnership to help residents improve their employment prospects.

“Congratulations to National Infrastructure Solutions for all of their work to engage more adults in learning.”

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