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PROFESSION WATCH


MIDLANDS HOSTS NEW TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION HUB


The University of Birmingham is launching the new National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure (NCATI)


As part of the University of Birmingham, the new National College of Advanced Transport Infrastructure (NCATI) will produce the next generation of skilled professionals to lead Britain’s future rail, transport and infrastructure workforce. NCATI will draw on the university’s rail expertise and, with strong industry connections and a range of partners, will help address the sector’s skills gaps in the Midlands and the North. The launch is the culmination of a


rigorous process where the university worked with the Department for Education to secure a successful, sustainable and inclusive future for the college. At state- of-the-art campuses in Birmingham and Doncaster, the NCATI will provide high quality education and training with a distinctive local offering that specialises in railway and transport engineering. In addition, a hub and spoke model will see


the NCATI collaborating with education partners around the UK, ensuring it fully plays its role as a national college. The NCATI has been accepted onto the


Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers and is now preparing for new apprentices to join the college in the coming months. Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Gillian Keegan said: “This partnership protects opportunities for apprentices, tackles skills gaps across the region and initiates an exciting collaboration between further education and higher education, delivering high level technical skills in an important sector of the UK economy.” The need for a highly skilled workforce


to deliver the Government’s ambitious programme of transport infrastructure investment was highlighted in its most recent Transport Infrastructure and Skills Strategy. It emphasises the importance of high quality training in the sector to support its levelling up agenda, as well as an ambitious programme of transport infrastructure investment.


❱❱ NCATI principal Ian Fitzpatrick and Prof Tim Jones, University of Birmingham provost, have been key in the introduction of the new transport education hub


ENGINEERS PROVE ANXIOUS ABOUT POST-FURLOUGH RETURN


Nearly 40 per cent of furloughed engineers are anxious about their return to work, according to recruitment company Randstad. A poll of almost 500 engineers from


across the UK highlighted a relationship that exists between post-furlough anxiety and the failure to offer best human resource practices, according to Randstad. This relationship boils down to the


process of re-induction (or “onboarding”). Around one-fifth of engineers who felt the re-induction process was good did not subsequently suffer any anxiety compared with more than half of those who rated


32 /// Testing & Test Houses /// June 2021


❱❱ Re-induction into the workplace helps engineers feel less isolated when they return to work after being furloughed


the re-induction process as poor. According to Adrian Smith, senior


director of operations at Randstad UK, normally the onboarding process would be reserved for introducing newly hired employees into an organisation. But these are not normal times and workers who have been furloughed for a year will benefit from some help integrating back into the wider company. It might be arduous for some teams who are spread pretty thinly at the moment but while standard onboarding might be expected to last for a couple of weeks to be effective, post-furlough onboarding is much shorter.


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