Rail Skills Academy

The Rail Skills Academy was created by QTS and East Ayrshire Council in 2022 to engage enthusiastic young people, aged 18 to 24 years, to join Scotland’s first Rail Skills Academy and have the opportunity to enter careers in the rail industry.

The Academy is delivered by QTS Training and funded through the East Ayrshire Council Young Person Guarantee programme, together with local authority employability funding, and has been developed to help to combat the skills shortage and lack of diversity in the rail industry. With over 48% of railway workers aged 50 or over and women making up just 16% of the current workforce, action is being taken to create a knowledgeable, diverse and qualified workforce for the future.

This training has already allowed many young people the opportunity to gain recognised railway competencies, including PTS and Track Induction as well as health & safety, small tools and first aid. Participants complete five weeks of classroom training as well as four weeks of on-site work experience, designed to equip them with the understanding of the industry. Successful candidates have now moved on to rewarding roles within the rail industry with a number securing positions at QTS and other companies who have partnered with us on the Rail Skills Academy.

The Rail Skills Academy has developed over the past year and QTS is currently working with East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and Fife Councils to deliver the programme to candidates aged 18 and over. We hope to expand the geographic reach for future Rail Skills Academy programmes.


What you need to know

Trainees attending the Rail Skills Academy receive a £55 per week training allowance, together with lunch subsistence. Transport is also arranged where required to assist with travel to the QTS HQ at Drumclog, Lanarkshire.

The Rail Skills Academy is open to anyone aged 18 plus who lives within the funding local authority areas, with no formal training or experience required.


Get in touch

For more information on future Skills Academy programmes you can contact Jane McFadzean and follow QTS Training on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. 

  • Sandy Obrien

    Sandy is currently working with our Scotland civils team and has gained experience working with the site team on things like embankment regrades and drainage works as a general operative. 

    • Case Study
  • Curtis Murray

    Curtis joined our Scotland drainage team fresh from his Rail Skills Academy graduation! He's been able to get some great hands-on experience at a few of our sites cleaning pipes with high pressure water, ready for our cameras to carry out a survey.   

    • Case Study
    • Case Study
  • Jamie Fulton

    Jamie is working with the civils & geotechnical team after finishing the Rail Skills Academy. He’s been learning about concrete cloth, cess drainage and regrades and to understand their function and role in protecting the rail infrastructure. 

    His first job out of the academy was laying cloth in a 300-metre ditch to allow water to drain away correctly, this prevents water sitting under the track which could cause landslides or movement of the track. 

    • Case Study
  • Luke McCoy

    Luke is working with our arbor team and was stationed at a few different sites follwing his completion of the Rail Skills Academy including Wemyss Bay and Elderslie. The team have been impressed with his work and Luke has been enjoying the new experience.

    • Case Study
    • Case Study
  • network-rail-pos.png
  • network-rail-pcl.png
  • constructionline.png
  • chas.png
  • safecontractor.png
  • uvdb.png
  • Irata.png
  • risqs.png
  • iiyp-plat-logo.png
  • 0054_ec_ukas_14001_hr_b.jpg
  • 0054_ec_ukas_45001_hr_b.jpg
  • 0054_ec_ukas_9001_hr_b.jpg