News - 16 June 2014

Derby growth fund tackles rail skills shortages head on

Derby’s flagship growth fund has pledged its support to a rail consultancy which is aiming to tackle the growing skills shortage blighting the industry.

The QSS Group in Vernon Gate specialises in health and safety, engineering and environmental management audits and training for the rail industry.

It has embarked on a strategic development and growth plan requiring the addition of new skills into the business.

QSS has launched a recruitment campaign to attract six consultants. A £63,000 grant from the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund is enabling the company to train and mentor these recruits alongside its established consultants.

Managing director Robert Brooks said the lack of investment in rail industry-specific training had now culminated in a pending shortage of skills and knowledge at a higher level.

“Our company is embedded in the rail industry and was established initially as a department within British Rail before privatisation in the 1990s.

“Our consultants work with a wide range of companies within the rail sector from engineering and manufacturing to train operating companies and carry out the essential work required to keep our railway network safe.

“To deliver our growth plans, we are looking to attract professionals from allied industries and particularly graduates who have the skills in new technologies.”

He added: “These are exciting times for the UK rail industry with a wealth of opportunities locally, nationally and internationally. With that comes an increasing requirement for the services that we offer and, with DEGF support, we are now well placed to service those needs with the next generation of consultants.”

Richard Williams, Derby City Council director of regeneration, said: “Support for the rail industry is a key priority for the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund and we know that potential skills shortages are an issue identified by companies throughout the supply chain.”

DEGF is supported by the government’s Regional Growth Fund and run by Derby City Council. It aims to support the growth and job creation at businesses in Derby and the surrounding area through a mix of loans and grants.

Source: Insider Media 

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