TSSA General Secretary calls for focus on rail skills ahead of conference

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called for technological advances in the railways to have humans at the centre of transition as the union prepares for the Future of Rail conference in London.

TSSA evnet focus on skills for railways

Speaking ahead of a special TSSA one-day Conference on the Future of Rail next month Cortes said:

I’m excited that our union is looking to the future and to new skills in this positive way. I believe the future of rail must retain a large human element to it and we need to be involved in the technological transition, whatever that may be.

We will be hearing from industry specialists and re-skilling experts because how the railways operate in the future is of fundamental importance.

This will we be an opportunity to lay out exactly why we need employers and training organisations to work with our union to plan the future with as much input from our members as possible.”

The conference is open to union members and others interested in the future skills needs of the rail sector and will feature leading industry figures on re-skilling, who are backing the TSSA event.

Michelle Nolan-McSweeney, Network Rail's Head of Training said:

Skills should be at the forefront of our strategic planning for a digital railway, particularly at such a crucial point in the history of the railways.

It’s for employers to offer opportunities for its employees, through new skills, upskilling and reskilling, but it also requires employees to be open to training and willing to self-direct their learning.

The railways are full of talented people; we need to retain skills and develop new ones, so everyone is able to perform at their best.”

Clair Mowbray, chief executive of the National College for High Speed Rail added:

At times like this, it’s important to take stock of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. We also have a widely reported national skills shortage which threatens to hinder the sector’s growth and productivity. We know there is an ageing workforce and we know that diversity and inclusion within the workforce needs to be improved.

Attracting the best talent to deliver major national infrastructure means not only getting behind projects like HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and Crossrail 2, but also making a firm commitment to apprenticeships and upskilling the existing workforce!”

TSSA Future of Rail Conference Radisson will be held Thursday 7th March at the Radisson Blu hotel, Great Russell St, London.

Speakers include:

David Waboso, Network Rail's Digital Railway

Rachael Maskell MP, Shadow Rail Minister

Martin Abrams, passenger representative, Association of British Commuters

TC Chew, Director, Arup Foresight

Neil Robertson, CEO National Skills Academy for Rail

Kevin Rowan, TUC / Director of Unionlearn

Manuel Cortes, TSSA

The event will focus on the technological and operational changes that are taking place in the rail industry as a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

To book your place at the Future of Rail go to the conference link 

For more information contact Kerry Abel - [email protected]