Transport minister Andrew Jones has announced an additional £60,000 worth of DfT funding will be made available for bursary schemes for students who study at the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR).
The announcement was made during a site visit where Jones was shown around the state-of-the-art facility in Doncaster, which will open its doors in September.
The NCHSR is an employer-led college with more than £300,000 worth of materials and in-kind support to allow students training at the college to learn essential skills using industry-leading equipment.
The DfT funding will directly contribute to improving bursary schemes to give support to students with their cost of study.
The college is at the forefront of closing the engineering, designing, planning, manufacturing and construction skills gap in the rail industry and will play an important role in creating the workforce behind the UK’s high-speed rail network that is in the pipeline.
The Doncaster site, coupled with its sister college in Birmingham, aims to train 1,000 people every year, offering a broad curriculum in order to give opportunities to school leavers to be a part of the high-speed rail industry, as well as anybody looking for a career change.
Speaking at the college, the minister said: “HS2 will carry over 300,000 people a day, improving connections between our great cities, generating jobs, and helping us build an economy that works for all.
“The NCHSR here in Doncaster is already having a positive effect, creating jobs and opportunities in South Yorkshire and the industry investment shows how much they value the training.
“The doors open in September and I am delighted that our new £60,000 bursary contribution, which could fund specialist training for around 10 students, will help deliver the skills and qualifications required to build the world’s most advanced passenger railway, HS2, and future rail infrastructure.”
Clair Mowbray, chief executive of NCHRS, also urged more companies to get behind the national college and pledge their support.
“Doncaster has a proud history in the construction and maintenance of Britain’s railways. The NCHSR will make sure it has a proud future too,” she added.
“We are grateful for the industry support we have received to date. However, there is still much more that we can do, so we want to hear from businesses and industry professionals across South Yorkshire who are interested in helping us create a world-class skills centre in Doncaster.”
Mowbray also thanked the government for its £40m investment into the college before the first intake of students arrives in September, as well as Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, who donated the five-acre site on Carolina Way.