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This KASTO tec AM 4 band saw automat machine was manufactured in the year 2009 in Germany. It is equ
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Young people urged to consider careers in light-rail engineering

Posted on 09 Dec 2021 and read 891 times
Young people urged to consider careers in light-rail engineeringUKTram, the light rail industry’s representative organisation, says that young people have the opportunity to play a major role in helping the country ‘to meet its future transport and environmental challenges’.

Craig O’Brien, UKTram’s engineering manager, said: “It is widely accepted that there is currently an engineering ‘skills gap’, and this has been felt across many industries, including light rail.

“Recently the Government announced a £650 billion ‘pipeline’ of investment in infrastructure and, at the same time, more of our towns and cities are recognising the economic, social and environmental benefits tramways and similar mass-transit systems can bring. While UKTram is committed to promoting those benefits, we also see this as a chance to create an enduring legacy of opportunity and skills for the next generation of transport workers.

“While some young people may not have yet heard about light rail, or even travelled on a tram, it really is a very diverse and rewarding sector to be a part of. Despite being relatively small in comparison to traditional or heavy rail, many people are surprised at just how many career paths it offers, particularly for those with an interest in engineering-based roles.

“These can include contributing to the maintenance of rolling stock or infrastructure such as track, overhead lines and bridges. There are also opportunities in project administration, health and safety and a host of specialist areas that can lead to senior management roles.”

Mr O’Brien said his own career path reflects the opportunities for career progression within light rail. “My own journey started over 14 years ago as a then 31-year-old trainee within Stagecoach Supertram’s maintenance team in Sheffield.

“I had no background in engineering at all, but was given the opportunity to start as an apprentice surveyor. Within five years I had progressed to infrastructure manager. I am no special case, and I firmly believe with the right atitude, support, training anyone can see their career follow a similar trajectory.”

Over the coming months, UKTram is planning a series of career ‘roadshows’ in schools, colleges and universities, while a landmark project to set National Occupational Standards for occupations in light rail is well advanced. Opportunities are also available on the UKTram website and via its social media channels, and a comprehensive light rail career ‘roadmap’ is also in development.