NETHERLANDS: Infrastructure contractors Strukton Rail and VolkerRail have jointly established a rail welding school to train and recertify welders to work on the ProRail network.

According to the two firms, there are insufficient numbers of rail welders in the country to justify a centrally-managed government scheme, but equally a significant training gap which needed to be filled. This led the two firms to create Rail Lasopleidingen Netherlands to train specialists to requirements set out by ProRail.

RLN was audited by the Dutch national institute of welding in early October, paving the way for the joint venture to be recognised as providing the official training programme for rail welding in the Netherlands. The school expects to host around 50 to 60 trainees per year for up to six weeks for full training; short courses for triennial recertification of welders will also be offered.