Keltbray Aspire, which is part of Keltbray Group and provides electrification services on the rail infrastructure, has appointed a further seven apprentices as part of a pioneering programme that the company has instigated in partnership with South Cheshire College in Crewe. In total Keltbray Aspire now have twenty five apprentices that have been recently recruited in recognition of the skills shortage within the rail electrification industry.

The seven apprentices were recruited from the College’s engineering courses and selected from a shortlist of 30 candidates who were put through their paces with assessments. The apprentices will also be assessed against the Rail Overhead Line Electrification Competence throughout the training programme.

The two-year apprentice programme focuses on railway overhead line installation and maintenance, and by gaining experience on Keltbray sites, the apprentices will learn new engineering skills and gain the essential qualifications required to work in the industry. The apprenticeship scheme has been designed to meet the demands associated with traditional construction, but importantly also the new design ranges that will be installed as part of National Rail’s National Electrification Programme, through a comprehensive training at Keltbray’s state of the art and dedicated rail electrification training centre in Crewe.

Keltbray’s rail business continues to grow and was responsible for the largest turnover increase in the company’s 2012 results on the back of its £46 million contract with Network Rail to provide Power Supply Upgrade on the West Coast mainline from Wembley to Crewe; a contract which is ongoing.

The apprentice scheme was established to meet this continued growth, and ensure that the Keltbray has the skills required to provide a first class and specialist service going forward: “There is a shortage of engineers in the UK generally, and so we see this as a great opportunity to invest in young people and recruit locally in Crewe; a town at the heart of the rail industry. The apprentice scheme will help ensure we are well positioned for the future, and we very much see this as a visionary and exciting partnership, and one which we hope will be a win-win situation for both our own company and for that of South Cheshire College,” said Director of Keltbray Rail Electrification, Martin Brown.

Head of Engineering at South Cheshire College, Phil Hurrell, agrees: “I am delighted that Keltbray Aspire has chosen to work with us and hope that this will be the start of a very fruitful partnership. This programme complements our philosophy of engaging our students in work-based learning programmes, and there has been great interest in it from our students. The scheme is a great opportunity for them to develop their practical skills and gain employment working for a specialist rail company, while for Keltbray it ensures that the company develops highly skilled employees and maintains a competitive edge in the rail electrification sector.”

Keltbray’s wider commitment to training and development has meant that the company provided more than 41 people with apprenticeships, internships, undergraduate and graduate traineeships in 2013. That is one for nearly every 20 of Keltbray’s 800 employees, and considerably more than most construction companies.

Over the past year, Keltbray also had 117 employees in vocational training to ensure the company develops highly skilled employees for the future.


More information

Pictures of the apprentices in training are available via this link:

For more information, please contact Keltbray’s head of communications, Marit Meyer-Bell, on tel. 0786 765 3392 or by email to [email protected]