We are pleased to announce our National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) audit results where we have received the prestigious Gold Standard classification. This rating demonstrates our Training Centre as being ‘highly effective’ in all of its assessment categories. NSAR is the Government’s licensing authority for all railway training providers and is the only authority under which training can be delivered. Accordingly, training providers must adhere to stringent standards and be subject to unannounced assurance visits.
The assurance visit in July 2017 was the second that ISS Labour’s Training Centre has received since being established in 2015 following investment by our parent company (Specialist People Services). Falling under the control of ISS Labour’s OLE Director, Colin Kelly, the Training Centre was initially set up to support the OLE Division but it has now expanded its range of services to include provision of training to other ISS Labour divisions as well as to external companies. It has also recently provided free training to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and assisted with the curriculum development of the National College for High Speed Rail’s Trailblazer Apprenticeship Scheme.
NSAR commented in their visit report that Learners enjoyed their training and that there had been notable examples whereby internal apprentices have been trained, mentored and developed, which in turn led to them receiving full time contracts. ISS Labour also drew particular praise for their consistently high pass rates and the way in which the Trainers drew on relevant and recent experience to bring a subject to life or reinforce a relevant teaching point. The Training Manager, Paul Humes, one of the industry’s leading trainers, was described as inspirational, innovative and wholly engaging.
Being awarded a Gold Standard after just three years of operation is a remarkable achievement for the Training Centre and is a reflection of how successful Colin Kelly and his team have been in setting up the facility and training the next generation of rail engineers. Simon Higgens, CEO of ISS Labour, said that he ‘was incredibly proud of the Training Centre’s achievement’ and thanked Paul Humes, Chantelle Feery, Chelsea Thornton, Kerry Benjamin and Bob Edmeades for their tireless commitment and hard work.