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Four train drivers who work for East Midlands Trains are the first in the UK to achieve an ITQ qualification. ITQ is an NVQ qualification in IT.
IT is being used more and more in the rail industry. Most On Train Management Recorder systems are based on Word and East Midlands Trains issues some on train staff with a Blackberry to help them keep in touch. East Midlands Trains is also developing a state of the art ‘route learning’ website to help familiarise drivers with the routes they operate.
With all these changes it’s not hard to see where the need to improve IT skills is driven from.
Chris Nutty ASLEF Lead Learning Representative and also a driver for East Midlands Trains said:
“The idea of train drivers taking the ITQ qualification was born out of the fact that the rail industry is constantly changing due to technology. We’re very proud to have helped the first drivers in the country achieve this qualification. I’d like to thank the tutors from West Notts College, UnionLearn and also East Midlands Trains for having the faith to let me run this pilot.”
The course was delivered by tutors from West Notts College at East Midlands Trains Derby depot and times were kept flexible to accommodate shift patterns. ITQ also recognises an individual’s own skills, that they may have developed though hobbies or interests away from work. Therefore one of the drivers was able to use the skills he’d developed as the secretary of a paint ball team in graphic design. The other has a holiday property he rents out, so he uses DeskTop Publishing for making up advertising materials and was able to draw on that.
Jackie O’Brien, Head of Training & Development for East Midlands Trains said:
“We’re really pleased to have helped facilitate staff in achieving this qualification, we’re always looking for ways to encourage our staff to gain more skills, especially those that will be of use to them in their current roles and future development.”