Mayor opens new region-wide college rail training academy

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, officially opened a new region-wide rail training academy designed to support hundreds of new training and employment opportunities for local people in the sector.

The launch occurred at TRIA’s new site at the Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre in Dudley, hosted by the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation, where Mayor Street also unveiled a Signalling Academy.

A joint effort between the Transport, Rail, and Infrastructure Academy (TRIA), City of Wolverhampton College and National Infrastructure Solutions aims to provide local residents with hundreds of new training and job opportunities in the sector.

WMCA is now investing £1.1m to establish 432 training positions at the Dudley site.

TRIA will equip individuals with both entry-level and advanced skills necessary for securing employment, addressing the demand for skilled workers in constructing and maintaining train lines, tram routes, and stations.

Davie Carns, managing director of National Infrastructure Solutions, said: “Our partnership with City of Wolverhampton College and the WMCA is now in its fifth year and, by working together, we have delivered training that has created sustainable employment for more than 2000 people.

“TRIA is the next step in the relationship and will give us the framework to provide specialist courses across multiple locations in the West Midlands, encouraging greater employer engagement and the potential for more jobs. The Black Country Signalling Academy at BCIMO is another example of how we are listening to businesses and developing training for more technical roles that are currently in high demand. Our first six months in Dudley have been a resounding success with 500 students trained already. This is just the start.”