Students on Track for Railway Engineering Career with the Smallpeice Trust

Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, August 09, 2012 --( From 30th July to 2nd August, fifty-six students aged 13-14 attended a specially designed Railway Engineering residential course at Askham Bryan College, York. Sponsored by the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE) and The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust (The LRET), this course forms part of a major initiative to encourage young people to consider railway engineering as a future career. Cutting across many disciplines, the course explored the design, construction and operation of railways and gave the students taking part a valuable insight into what our future railways could look like.

Over the four days, the 13 and 14 year olds had the opportunity to learn about railway engineering through a series of presentations and practical exercises. Working in teams, they tackled "real-life" challenges on projects designed and facilitated by young engineers from industry. These organisations included FirstGroup plc and Network Rail alongside a project organised by The Smallpeice Trust. Projects included designing and building: a train for towing materials; a railway track complete with bends; hills and tunnels and an operational signalling system.

As well as working on the design, build and test elements of the projects, the students developed life skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, time management, finance and presentation. The social programme included a film night, sports activities and a formal dinner and disco.

Michael Franklin, Director of The LRET commented: “For a second year, The LRET has agreed to support Smallpeice’s railway engineering Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Days and a residential course. The Smallpeice initiatives give young people an understanding of the skills they need to develop to equip them for the new and increasing opportunities that we are seeing in this fast-moving sector.”

Gil Howarth, Chief Executive of NSARE added: “The Railway Engineering industry offers young people great career opportunities. Now more than ever before is an exciting time to join the industry with a huge amount of money and new technology being invested in our railways to ensure they are world class. There are opportunities for young people to join the industry from school as apprentices or graduates with the opportunity to progress in their career development as far as they wish, quite literally as the industry offers career opportunities across the world for those who wish to pursue them.

“We are delighted to be working with The Smallpeice Trust and The LRET and to raise awareness of the exciting career opportunities Railway Engineering can offer young people.”

Dr Andrew Cave, Chief Executive of The Smallpeice Trust added:
“We are most grateful for the continuing support from NSARE and The LRET on this programme. Rail is one of the greenest forms of transport and massive investment is being injected into our railway infrastructure. Giving young people the opportunity to discover for themselves the excitement, challenge and reward of a career in railway engineering is vital in encouraging the engineers of tomorrow while equipping them to meet the social, environmental and economic challenges of the future.”

These activities spark an interest in engineering and science, igniting a genuine desire for many to consider careers in these fields. This is particularly encouraging amongst those who have traditionally had limited or no history of engagement with this type of activity. Following the success of the pilot course in 2011 The LRET and NSARE are also sponsoring an advanced Railway Systems Engineering course for 15 to 17 year olds this summer which will take place at the University of Birmingham.

All Smallpeice courses are linked to the National Curriculum and are designed to improve core skills such as team building, financial management, communication and problem solving. By attending one of our courses students will gain experience of university and working life that will accelerate their personal development and their potential for greater academic achievement.

The Railway Engineering course is run by independent educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust, and is part of an on-going programme of residential courses to help young people aged 13 to 18 learn and develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing. Through running residential courses and STEM enrichment days, The Trust has reached out to 18,175 students across the UK in the past year.

The new course timetable for 2013 will be launched in the autumn school term. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. To find out more, visit, or telephone The Smallpeice Trust on 01926 333200.
The Smallpeice Trust:
Gemma Murphy
+44(0)1926 333214
or contact:
Claire Fisher
Tel: 01926 333203
Fax: 01926 333202