Leading young people into rail - iRail Birmingham 2018

Pioneering the way for young people to explore the rail industry #iRail2018

14 schools across the Midlands joined Learn by Design and East Midlands Rail Forum at the annual West Midlands iRail 2018 event on the 16th May. This year we had the pleasure of bringing the event to the National College for High Speed Rail in Birmingham. Now part of The Big Bang and Careers and Enterprise fund initiatives, the event wowed school pupils as they experienced a full day of rail innovation and education.

Part of the day included a guided tour of the new state of the art renovation of – Network Rail Birmingham New Street Station. Melanie Sackett – shift manager and her colleagues led the school groups of young people around the station and underground hub, highlighting their diverse roles within the rail industry. A wealth of insight into rail careers emerged, as roles from safety, electrical, maintenance, catering and operations, were highlighted for young people to consider as career options and study avenues.

We also pay thanks for The National College For High Speed Rail providing talks around the site, including #BrumStar, control room, CAD room and Augmented reality experiences. All these experiences showcased the pioneering technical excellence that is being developed in the rail industry.

The teachers in attendance had the opportunity to participate in a Teachers Career Workshop, which saw Elaine ClarkWest Midlands Trains, and Melanie talk openly about their careers in the rail industry. Valuable links, careers guidance and access to ambassadors, were shared with teachers in order to highlight the rail industry and its offering within the career opportunities available for young people.

The day included a hands on pupil interactive challenge of Bridge Building, where enterprise skills were put to the test to budget, build and test their design. Experts in the field of rail added suspense to the challenge, as they assessed, critiqued and judged the final designs, crowning the overall winners of the West Midlands iRail event to Aston University Engineering academy.

The Bridge Building Challenge Judges included: Dave Saunders – DRES John Howes – Bombardier Melanie Sackett – Allan Jones –  DRES Peter Stanton –  DRES Robert Davies – Bomardier

We would like to say a huge thank you to all the schools, exhibitors, young people, judges, ambassadors and the National Collage for High Speed Rail for making this flagship event in the calendar of rail.

Photos from the day can viewed here: iRail 2018 NCHSR 2018

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