USA: The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded Amtrak an $8m grant to support a national roll-out of its apprenticeship programme, which will offer a three-year career track for personal and professional advancement.
This follows the launch of a pilot programme earlier this year, and will enable expansion across additional roles and locations.
Hubs in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Wilmington in Delaware and Beech Grove in Indiana will train more than 600 employees in the next three to five years.
All apprentices will take core courses including safety, environmental awareness and the use of personal protective equipment, before meeting mentors and moving into combined classroom and hands-on instruction, then branching off into trade-specific training. After three years of training, students will take a final exam and become fully qualified in their field.
‘Amtrak envisions an innovative apprenticeship programme that merges the best aspects of training with the latest in railroad technology, with one key objective in mind: the creation of a highly skilled, qualified and engaged workforce’, said President & CEO Stephen Gardner on June 9.
‘Helping us meet our staffing goals well into the future, we would like to thank the FRA for allowing Amtrak to invest in and grow its talented workforce and our union partners for making this all happen.’