News Flash: NSARE to support Rail Supply Group in developing Rail Skills Strategy

News Flash: ITN documentary "Working to Engineer a Better World" featuring NSARE
Please see below

News Flash: NSARE Announces New Chief Executive

News Flash: New Rail Industry Apprenticeship Standards Unveiled

News Flash: NSARE Launches Rail Integrated Design Management MSc

Exciting News from NSARE

NTAR showcases cutting edge training technologies at RaiTex 2015

15 May

railtex 2NTAR exhibited at Railtex 2015 - the all-encompassing showcase for technological innovation across the rail supply market. The NTAR team displayed cutting edge training technologies, a highlight of which is the Virtual Reality equipment (pictured), that will train future engineers. The team engaged with operators, suppliers, and senior stakeholders across the UK and European railway industry, receiving a hugely positive response for the prospective provision of a quality training supplier for the industry.

Please click here to see more photos.

To find out more about NTAR please visit:

Next Generation Rail: Be in it to win it

1 May

NextGenerationNSARE is proud to support the 3rd annual
Next Generation Rail, the unmissable event of summer 2015!

Next Generation Rail aims at bringing together young professionals, early-career researchers and apprentices working in the rail industry (or planning to join the rail community) in order to:

  • DEVELOP new skills to support their career progression
  • SHOWCASE the latest research and innovation in industry and academia
  • SHARE knowledge and ideas
  • PROMOTE collaboration


South West Trains apprentices are Midlands-bound thanks to new training contract

21 April

NTARSouth West Trains first train operating company to sign up to new National Training Academy for Rail

South West Trains will be the first train operating company (TOC) to benefit from the new National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR).

Under a rolling contract that starts in September, the entire intake of engineering apprentices from South West Trains will attend the National Training Academy for Rail over a period of 36 months to be trained in a variety of subjects including BTEC Level 3 Electrical/Electronic Engineering, NVQ Level 3 Engineering Maintenance, and HNC Level 4 Electrical/Electronic Engineering.

NTAR will be responsible for the administration of South West Trains’ apprenticeship programme, including framework registration, qualification provision, learner enrolment, college management, certification, scheme accreditation, Skills Funding Agency (SFA) arrangements, and Ofsted preparation and measures as well as providing scheme enrichment in the form of technical and professional development modules.

Click here to read the full story

Now out for consultation: Rail Engineering Advance Technician Apprenticeship Standard

17 April

TrailblazersFollowing Government approval of new Apprenticeship Standards for Rail Engineering Operatives at Level 2 and Technicians at Level 3, the draft Higher Apprenticeship Standard for Rail Engineering Advanced Technicians at Level 4 is now out for consultation.

Developed by the Rail Engineering Apprenticeship Standards Employer Group the Advanced Technician Standard sets out the core and specific skills, knowledge and behaviours expected of someone working as a Rail Engineering Advanced Technician.

The scope of the Standard encompasses the whole of Rail Engineering covering maintenance, renewal and construction and installation across a number of disciplines being: track; telecoms; signalling; electrification; overhead lines; traction & rolling stock and rail systems. The online consultation aims to ensure that the final standard correctly identifies the skills, knowledge and behaviours required, will work for organisations of all sizes and will deliver the quality of apprentices that you need. The initial consultation will be completed by 27th April.  This will enable further consultation on the final standard if required before submission of the Standard to Government for approval.

If you would like to take part in the consultation please email Tamara Brooks at who will be pleased to send you a consultation invitation.

NSARE's 350th Member

31 March

Less than 4 years after the Membership scheme was launched, NSARE is delighted that we have recently received our 350th Membership application. Indeed, in the past 2 weeks we have received five applications from Burcombe Consulting Ltd, Capita Property & Infrastructure, Kier Construction,
Sigma Management Development Ltd and Thompson Training Services Ltd.  We launched our corporate Membership scheme at our first national conference in June 2011 and today we have 354 Member organisations and continue to grow at the average rate of one per week.

NSARE Launches Rail Integrated Design Management MSc

16 March


Rail Integrated Design Management MSc is now open to the rail industry

From March 2015 the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE) will be welcoming applications for the Rail Integrated Design Management MSc - a rail focused
University College London (UCL) master’s degree.

Now in its third year, this is the first time that the qualification will be open to the rail industry. With the demand for delivery of multidisciplinary projects in the field of rail engineering ever increasing so is the need for highly technical staff. Aimed at senior experienced professionals, the qualification has been designed to help staff gain advanced knowledge and skills in effectively managing the interface between project engineering disciplines and stakeholders.

NSARE Chief Executive, Gil Howarth, said:

“With major infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Crossrail2 to deliver, it is vital that the UK rail industry invests in skills for the future. The Rail Integrated Design Management MSc was created by Atkins to enhance and sustain technical competency among its rail professionals. Having only been open to Atkins’ staff over the past three years, it is now open to the rail industry which is very exciting. This qualification will develop engineering leaders with the skills and knowledge to deliver engineering innovation in a complex industry. By supporting their staff to undertake this qualification, employers will be ensuring that their staff are equipped to meet the growing demands on the UK rail network.”

The qualification is supported by NSARE and contains 18 modules which are delivered part-time over two years by practising engineers and specialists. The third year supports the production of a dissertation or research topic.

Click here to go to the MSc Page

NSARE Announces New Chief Executive

13 March

NRUnprecedented investment in rail and record passenger numbers have placed ever increasing demands for skills across the sector. NSARE has been fundamental in raising the profile of skills in the rail industry. Since 2011, it has developed a reputation for skills forecasting, improved the quality of training, championed initiatives such as trailblazer apprenticeships and initiated key projects such as the National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR), which will open this autumn in Northampton.

Gil Howarth and the NSARE team have taken the organisation from a concept to a reality at the heart of the rail skills agenda with some 350 Members across the industry. Gil is now leaving NSARE at the end of June as the organisation moves to its next phase.

The NSARE Board is delighted to announce the appointment of Neil Robertson as the new
Chief Executive. Neil will join NSARE in early June and take over as Chief Executive from 1st July.

Neil joins NSARE from Energy and Utilities Skills, where he has been CEO for the past 3 years, during which he has transformed it into one of the leading skills organisations with a focus on apprenticeships and employer leadership. Neil has extensive experience in government, working in the department for Business Innovation and Skills, and also in membership organisations.

Chris Fenton, Chairman of NSARE, said:

"Neil’s experience of the skills challenges, which are common across industrial and infrastructure sectors, will help build upon the foundations of the past 5 years and ensure that NSARE supports the rail sector effectively, and in the wider context of UK plc.

On behalf of the NSARE Board, I would like to thank Gil and the team for their outstanding commitment and dedication in leading NSARE since its inception."

New Rail Industry Apprenticeship Standards Unveiled

12 March

Skills Minister Nick Boles has announced that the industry has successfully developed new Apprenticeship Standards for Rail Engineering. The National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE) has supported a consortium of major Rail Engineering Employers in developing the new  Apprenticeship Standards. The group, comprising both small and large employers, has developed Apprenticeship Standards at Operative and Technician levels, and with Advanced Technician level currently in progress.

The standards are:

  • Rail Engineering Operative, Intermediate Level 2
  • Rail Engineering Technician, Advanced Level 3
  • Rail Engineering Advanced Technician, Higher Apprenticeship Level 4 – currently under development

The new Apprenticeship Standards encompass track; telecommunications; signalling; electrification; overhead lines; traction & rolling stock and rail systems. Within each discipline Rail Engineering covers maintenance, renewal and construction / installation. The Standards have been developed on a “core and options” basis where the core content across all the disciplines is treated as such and apprentices will undertake core learning plus a specialism in order to complete their Apprenticeship.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

"Giving leading firms the power to design and deliver high quality apprenticeships, means we can ensure more young people have the skills our economy vitally needs. Apprenticeships play a key role in the success of our long term economic plan and, with more than 2 million apprenticeships started since 2010, I am proud to say our reforms are delivering for businesses and young people."

Click here to read the full story


  • Find out more about NSARE's plans and how they can help your company.


  • Become an accredited training provider.
  • Access new business opportunities.


  • Find courses and qualifications to help you progress your career.
  • Railway Engineering SkillsID - your passport to a successful career.


  • Find out how you can start an exciting career in railway engineering