Saturday, 21 November 2009

Labour Minister brings the rail academy a step closer

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich has welcomed the personal commitment of Lord Adonis to the establishment of a rail academy.

Speaking to the Campaign for Better Transport the Secretary of State for Transport said, "Equipping our workforce with the skills to support new rail construction and maintenance is vital.

"So today I can announce my backing for a bid to launch a National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering, to address skills shortages in the rail sector and to develop UK railway industry expertise.

"The Academy would train railway staff at all levels, and equip apprentices with a broad range of design, construction and maintenance skills to support key projects like Crossrail, and our rail electrification programme. It will complement the Crossrail Tunnelling Academy, which will be set up next year to train 1000 people in tunnelling skills.

"It’s all about preparing Britain’s rail industry for the future, and not just delivering a better, more efficient railway at home, but also selling our products and expertise abroad.

"The Academy, if approved, could very likely have its first centres in Crewe and London."

David Williams said, "I am absolutely delighted that the Secretary of State has given his personal commitment to the rail academy. This is something that the rail and engineering trade unions have long campaigned for. Such an endorsement from a Cabinet Minister takes us a whole lot closer to delivering this much needed investment in skills training. I really believe it will now happen.

"This investment is only available because Labour has been prepared to put money into jobs and training to help Britain out of the recession. Investment that wouldn't be available under from the Tories who have persistently and criticised Labour for our fiscal stimulus. A fiscal stimulus that has lead to more apprenticeships, training and job opportunities for young people in Crewe and Nantwich. It's time the Tories were honest."

Pictured: David Williams lobbying Lord Adonis at Crewe Station

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