Levenmouth Rail Skills Academy celebrates success


Nine young people are celebrating the successful completion of their training with the Levenmouth Rail Skills Academy.

The Skills Academy has run for the last nine weeks as part of the £116m Scottish Government-funded project to reconnect Leven to the mainline rail network. It’s part of the project’s ambition to encourage the next generation of railway workers into the industry.

Following five weeks of classroom-based training, the students gained qualifications such as working at height, harness training, personal track safety and equipment use. There then followed four weeks of work on site gaining work experience with the contractors delivering the rail link end enabling the students to get involved in delivering the work.

The successful completion of the Academy was marked with an event at Bayview Stadium, where the young people shared their experiences of the past nine weeks with guests and what it means to them to have completed the course.

They then took part in a ‘speed interview’ session, gaining interview experience with the supply chain contractors delivering the rail link - with the potential to secure future employment.

The academy approach has been successful in other areas and has led to students gaining employment within the rail maintenance sector. As well as the active participation of the railway contractors, the programme also included support from Fife Council in the form of a £55 per week training allowance.

Tommy McPake, Senior Programme Manager for Network Rail, said: “It’s a real pleasure to attend the celebration event and get the chance to personally congratulate the young people on their successful completion of the Levenmouth Rail Skills Academy.

“They have put in the hard work during the classroom-based element of the course and they’ve been out working in all weathers, gaining trackside experience. And they’ve just got on with it.

“It’s great to see young people so enthusiastic and eager to work. I’m excited to see what comes next for them.”

Lorna Gibson, Training Director for QTS, said: “Today exemplifies why we run the Rail Skills Academy programmes. The feedback from the young people has been fantastic. They have learned so much, gained new qualifications and experience and hopefully, will gain job offers!

“This cohort has been great to work with and to see the difference in them today, compared to the assessment day on August 1, is truly incredible. We are all very proud of them and they should be proud of themselves.”

Councillor Colin Davidson, Convenor, Levenmouth Area Committee, said: “To see and hear from the young people today and be part of celebrating their success is fantastic.

“Opportunities like this are so important and as a community we welcome them. It not only leaves a legacy, it shows that opportunities are out there for our young people.

“I am truly excited to hear more about the young people’s next steps in what I hope will be a rewarding career in the railway.”

A video showing the awards ceremony is available to view here.