North East leaders launch Industry Week 2019 at Newcastle College Rail and Civil Engineering Academy

Shadow Transport Minister and Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald joined Gateshead MP Ian Mearns and Deputy Mayor Dot Burnett this week at Newcastle College Rail and Civil Engineering Academy.

The trio were there to officially open Industry Week 2019, a week of practical activities for students, delivered in partnership with the College’s employer partners including Network Rail, Nexus and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue.

Addressing students, Mr McDonald said: “Investment in our transport infrastructure is critically important. The UK rail industry hasn’t been efficient for many years now and it gets worse the further north you travel. But as a party we’re absolutely committed to sustained investment in the rail industry. There’s a real determination to get this right.

“The positive thing is that the next generation is looking forward to long and full careers in the rail industry. I’d expect the people studying at Newcastle College’s Rail and Civil Engineering Academy to be part of this industry for 30 to 40 years.”

Mr Mearns backed these comments, adding: “I look at the Rail and Civil Engineering Academy in Gateshead and I’m convinced we have a ready-made workforce able to meet the needs of the industry in the future.

“When the tap does start to turn on in terms of rail investment across the North East we will have the skilled people here capable of making that investment work.

“If Newcastle College students work hard and apply themselves then they will have access to so many exciting opportunities in the rail industry. Nobody doubts the importance of transport infrastructure and it’s a fantastic industry to be a part of.”

The Rail and Civil Engineering Academy opened in 2014 and forms part of Newcastle College’s Transport Academy, which was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2018.

Find out more about Rail and Civil Engineering at Newcastle College