Training for the Rail Industry

4 min read
Jan 12, 2022 11:26:00 AM

Qualitrain has many years’ experience of working with rail organisations. We offer a wide range of apprenticeships and qualifications to upskill staff working throughout all levels within the sector. From engineering, leadership and management, to the new improvement standards focusing on Lean Six Sigma.

We work directly with organisations to initially conduct a training needs analysis, then offer a programme of apprenticeships and qualifications tailored to satisfy the specific needs identified. The training is delivered within a timescale inline with organisational demands. Over the years, this has contributed to long-term relationships within the rail industry. Investing time and effort into getting to know our clients, listening to their needs and serving them to the best of our abilities is the foundation to our successful partnerships. 

Rail Engineering Apprenticeship Training
Senior managers and Directors with the team at St. Philips Marsh Depot receiving their certificates

Rail Engineering Training

We currently deliver the Level 2 Rail Engineering Operative and Level 3 Rail Engineering Technician apprenticeships. Additionally we deliver the Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Performing Engineering Operations and the Level 3 NVQ Certificate in Rail Engineering Traction and Rolling Stock qualifications. Each qualification is are focused on the core learning against any specific Traction and Rolling Stock role and the key understanding that the rail industry has a high level of safety critical work activities which requires a disciplined and responsible approach. The learning covers safe working practices, general engineering techniques, how to work effectively to engineering solutions, fault finding and diagnosis to prevent or address equipment failures, general maintenance practices and effective replacement of components.

With the launch of Qualitrain Engineering Academy, we now also offer the Level 3 Metal Fabricator, Level 2 General Welder, Level 2 Engineering Operative and Level 3 Engineering Technician Apprenticeships.

The market itself is challenging. Finding and recruiting staff with the right experience and skills is getting harder within this competitive industry. Engineering skills taught at college are not always specific to rail and put more burden on a business’s competency management team. Our experience within the rail sector has ensured that we have a track record of working closely with our customers to identify exactly what their specific training needs are.

Qualitrain Engineering Academy

Team Leading & Management

Within this area, we offer the Level 3 Team Leader/ Supervisor apprenticeship which helps the development of the first line management role. The learning helps provide direction, instructions and guidance to ensure the achievement of set goals. The learning also covers leading and managing people, building relationships, communication, operational and project management, finance, self-awareness and decision making.

Additionally, we also deliver the Level 5 Operations/ Departmental Manager apprenticeship This qualification enhances key responsibilities such as creating and delivering operational plans, managing projects, leading and managing teams, managing change, financial and resource management, talent management, coaching and mentoring.

Leadership and Management development has arguably never been more important as organisations traverse waters in a sector that is not only upgrading but expanding to meet increasing demands. It is exciting equipping, educating and empowering the future generation leaders to satisfy these demands! We are proud to have helped to bridge that skills gap and given rail organisations a clear path to succession planning.

Lean Six Sigma

Lean and Six Sigma tools are used to drive efficiency and productivity to reduce waste within processes. These tools can be used across all departments and roles. Wherever there is a process being followed, Lean Six Sigma can help identify and reduce any waste.

Qualitrain provides training to upskill existing staff in the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to operate in a sustained continuous improvement culture.

We offer the full range of Lean Six Sigma apprenticeships right up to Degree level, meaning you can utilise your Levy to fund training. The full range of Lean Six Sigma apprenticeships include: Level 2 Lean Manufacturing Operative, Level 3 Improvement Technician, Level 4 Improvement Practitioner, Level 5 Improvement Specialist and Level 6 Improvement Leader. All of these qualifications are between 12-36 months in duration. Our delivery methods use a blend of Lean and Six Sigma, project and change management principles and tools to identify and lead the delivery of change across organisational functions and processes. At levels 5 and 6, Improvement Specialists and Leaders are responsible for leading the deployment of improvement strategy. They are also responsible for training others and providing broad and deep technical expertise in advanced and complex Lean and Six Sigma.

Through Lean Six Sigma training bespoke to your business needs, your efficiency and profits can be streamlined.

With the recognised Lean and Six-Sigma training, we apply the new standards around achieving projects set within your organisation. We mentor and coach your staff, leading them by the hand through projects you have determined. These measures are usually focused on improving customer quality, delivery to customers and reduced internal costs. Critically, if you can’t measure something it can’t be controlled. If you can’t control it, you can’t manage it. If you can’t manage it, you can’t improve it! Business improvements are key and our case studies show significant return on investments for the organisation.


The purpose of competence management in the rail industry is to control risk. Legislation regulates safety critical work to manage the risk to safety and all safety critical rail personnel must be managed via a competency management system. Therefore, outside of specific qualifications and on a commercial basis we can work alongside competency management teams to develop individual competency plans and then provide assessment support for these competency plans to satisfy compliance systems for safety critical working. Furthermore, we have vast experience of creating bespoke engineering workshops specifically for traction and rolling stock to standardise company engineering practices and upskill engineering knowledge and practical elements for specific maintenance needs. Our specialist trainers also offer bespoke Powered Equipment and all aspects of Health and Safety training across the rail sector

Finally, we can support the recruitment of new staff through specific pre-employment training. We work alongside recruitment agencies and your HR team to facilitate this. Our training is built around your specified requirements to ensure that when new staff start, they are productive from the onset.

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