National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR)
The National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR) was a joint project between the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE) with industry partner Siemens, supported by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and the Department for Transport (DfT), This new UK flagship Traction & Rolling Stock training centre, was officially opened by Transport Minister, Claire Perry, on 20th October 2015.
NTAR was the ‘brainchild’ of Howarth & Co’s Chief Executive, Gil Howarth. Following intensive discussions with BIS and DfT during 2012/13, the contract between NSARE, Siemens and BIS was signed in December 2013. This innovative response to the skills challenge was a unique and ambitious public/private partnership between government agencies and private enterprise.
NTAR plays a leading role in the new railway skills development programmes being driven by the rail industry to ensure that its priorities are met. NTAR specialises in vital traction & rolling stock and control systems training. It offers unrivalled facilities and courses, with its Northampton centre acting as a hub to support and deliver services to customers across the UK and internationally in the longer term
With rising passenger and freight demands requiring an increased capacity of the rail network, together with new trains, the technical challenges on the workforce have never been greater; as the move towards the Digital Railway of the future gathers pace, and with many of the industry’s workforce approaching retirement age, both Government and industry recognise that coping with this combination of technological and demographic pressure needs a very clear strategy. Only by addressing training and recruitment needs now, can the UK rail industry ensure that it can draw upon a highly-skilled talent pool in railway engineering to create a truly world-leading 21st century rail network.