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Sector-based Work Academy Programme: Rail

The rail industry plays an important part in the economy supporting employment, construction, services and innovation. Our Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) have been created in partnership with specialists from the rail industry to offer you the opportunity to train or retrain for a career in the rail sector.

Rail Engineering Track Maintenance Course

Gain the skills, knowledge, and experience you need to start your career in the rail sector with our Rail Engineering Track Maintenance course.


What qualifications can I achieve?

During the course, you can achieve qualifications and competencies in:

  • City and Guilds Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Rail Engineering Track Maintenance
  • City and Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Rail Engineering Track Underpinning Knowledge
  • Personal Track Safety (PTS)
  • Track Induction Course (TIC)
  • Industry Common Induction (ICI)
  • Overhead Line Equipment Construction (OLEC 1)
  • Hand tools / small plant training and assessment
  • Manual handling
  • Emergency first aid
  • Fire awareness
  • Safety awareness


Is anything else included in the course?

Yes! You will receive approved Personal Protected Equipment (PPE), sponsorship, and drugs, alcohol and medical screenings as part of the course.


Who can apply for the course?

You can apply for the course if you are:

  • Aged 19 or over (on 31 August)
  • Unemployed or seeking employment
  • Able to commit to a six to eight week course, Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm
  • Able to travel


For more information, contact us at 

Take your first step towards a career in the rail sector with our Pre-Rail Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP). 


What is the Pre-Rail SWAP?

The Pre-Rail SWAP is a two-week skills development programme that enables you to explore career opportunities in the rail sector, boosts your employability, and prepares you for progression into a Level 2 qualification in Rail. 


What will I learn?

During the Pre-Rail SWAP you will:

  • Learn about career opportunities in the rail sector, and the attitudes and values needed to work on the rail network
  • Attend workshops to help you create a CV, write cover letters, apply for jobs, and prepare for interviews
  • Develop key employability skills such as communication, teamwork, and time management
  • Learn about the importance of manual handling within rail construction settings
  • Gain an understanding of equality and diversity in the workplace
  • Develop knowledge of health and safety, and its importance when working in a rail environment
  • Learn about employer and employee rights and responsibilities 
  • Get support to improve your English, mathematics and IT skills if required


What qualifications can I achieve?

Upon successful completion of the Pre-Rail SWAP you will receive an accredited Level 1 qualification in Employability, and support to progress to the Level 2 course in Rail. 


Who can apply for the Pre-Rail SWAP?

You can apply for the Pre-Rail SWAP if you:

  • Are aged 18 or above
  • Have an annual income below £17,004
  • Are able to commit to virtual workshops each day Monday to Friday


For more information, contact us at 



What our students say


"My life during Covid was very isolated - I worked as a scaffolder for 17 years prior to this. I had not worked for a whole year and decided this course was a stepping stone to a greater future. 

"I now feel this has been the best decision of my life to date!"

- Carl Smith



"Before this course I had been unemployed for 5 months and desperately looking for work but in the current client (COVID), this was a surprisingly difficult task as no one was hiring.

"This opportunity popped up on my Facebook feed and I thought "Why not"!! I had never thought about working on the railway before so I applied for the course. Within a few days I had a call explaining the course and then within 2 weeks I was on the course. It all moved very fast which I was extremely pleased about.

"The course at first was daunting but within a few days, I was fully engaged and eager to learn. I really enjoy the Pythagoras maths and the theory work but what has surprised me is the practical learning. Working on track, learning to use tools and being around an absolutely fantastic bunch of lads, who have helped me along the way has been truly eye-opening and makes me really look forward to a future career on the railway.

"My long term goal is to gain as much experience as I can and progress as far as possible. I believe this course is giving me an amazing foundation to achieve this.

"I would also like to add that my tutor, Al, is without doubt, one of the reasons why I'm enjoying this course so much. Al has great communications skills, a wealth of experience that he is eager to share and makes everything so easy to understand. He's encouraging with both the practical and the theory side of the course which makes me feel relaxed and confident. Al's enthusiasm for the job really rubs off on you and this, in turn, makes me want to succeed and achieve.

"This course has been an amazing experience and I would recommend that everyone gives it a go."

- Greg Elliott


Learn more about Sector-Based Work Academy Programmes in Rail

For more information about our rail programmes and how to apply, contact our friendly Employability team