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VIDEO: Doncaster rail firm’s £1.5m investment brings 200 jobs

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A £1.5m investment in the country’s rail industry will create upto 200 jobs in Doncaster.

Wabtec Rail Ltd exclusively revealed this week that it will soon be recruiting shop floor and management staff to be based at its 22 acres site on Hexthorpe Road.

The private company, established in 1994, is one of the UK’s leading railway engineering firm that specialises in the overhaul and refurbishment of railway carriages and is looking to invest in excess of £1.5m in the town.

Group sales director Paul Robinson told the Doncaster Star that it was hoped to extend the existing 850 workforce to 1,050 by the middle of the year, also increasing its site capacity by 30 per cent.

He said: “We’ve been very successful with a number of new contracts that has led us to recruiting quite a few shop floor staff and management staff as well.

“We need new people on board by the middle of the year, coupled with that we plan to put a lot of investment into the site to increase the capacity for the number of trains we can have at any one time.

“We need shop floor workers, vehicle builders, fitters, electricians and more apprentices in the summer. We are also looking for management and senior project managers.

“This is definitely exciting times for us.”

He added: “We are the leading railway engineering company for repair and refurbishment of trains in the UK. We have heard rumours that people are saying it’s a business that is shut, we are definitely not shut.”

The news comes as Network Rail also announced that it was on the lookout for young people from Yorkshire to apply for its award winning apprenticeship scheme.

The company is seeking 15 new recruits at its maintenance depots in Leeds, Doncaster and York to help deliver the billions of pounds being invested in the coming years to provide a bigger, better, more efficient and more reliable railway.

Successful candidates for the three-year scheme will spend their first year at Europe’s largest engineering training facility at HMS Sultan in Hampshire. There apprentices specialise in track, signaling, telecoms and electrification and plant. During their second and third years they earn as they learn on the rail network’s front line, gaining vital experience from experienced teams as they train to become maintenance technicians. Throughout this time they regularly return to HMS Sultan for further courses and training to add to the experience gained on the rail network.

Michelle Palin, who heads up recruitment for the Network Rail scheme, said: “It’s a very exciting time to work in rail with huge multi-billion pound projects set to transform the network as we revitalise stations, increase the frequency of trains and make journeys faster, more reliable and greener.

“We need more highly skilled people to help us meet the challenges of a busier network and focus on improving the reliability of the railway and increasing capacity as passenger numbers continue to grow.”

The apprenticeship is just the start of the learning programme. Many apprentices go on to be team leaders and managers and take up the opportunity to further their education through Network Rail. Since 2005, Network Rail has trained 1,050 apprentices across Britain through the three-year scheme with a further 600 currently still in training.

Ms Palin added: “The scheme offers young people the chance to gain recognised qualifications and expert training, which will not only set them up for a challenging career but also teach them all they need to know to become invaluable members of the Network Rail team. They can be proud to be part of a company which keeps Britain moving and helps four million people and millions of tonnes of freight travel every day.”

*Doncaster has a proud and illustrious industry in railway engineering. The two most famous steam locomotives ever built, the Flying Scotsman and the Mallard, were built in Doncaster.

Today Doncaster is still recognised as one of the UK’s foremost rail towns with international companies such as Wabtec Rail, Volkerrail Group and DB Schenker.

 

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