A national standard for tram driver training is a step closer with the expansion of a popular apprenticeship programme to cover the light rail sector.
UKTram has played a key role in consultations on revisions to the Passenger Transport Driver programme, which has now been backed with funding from the Department for Education.
Working with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, the sector’s representative body has helped to ensure the course meets the requirements of light rail operators.
Steve Duckering, UKTram Operations Manager, explained: “When the apprenticeship standards were due for revision, we were asked to help put together the required core knowledge, understanding, skills and behaviours relevant for tram drivers.
“Clearly, combining these elements so they fit for bus, coach and tram drivers was quite a challenge and took months of hard work, but we found there was plenty of crossover, including caring for customers and other duties and responsibilities.
“As members of the Standard Revision Group, we were also involved in compiling an end-point assessment plan that could be a viable option for our industry while also meeting the government’s requirements for funding, which has since been approved.”
As part of the process, UKTram consulted widely with colleagues from across the sector, sending out drafts of the proposed revisions during National Apprenticeship Week earlier this year.
“In an ideal world, we would have a dedicated tram driver apprenticeship programme but, due to the numbers involved, this is simply not a viable option,” Steve said.
“However, we’re confident that the revised apprenticeship will now provide an excellent framework for training the next generation of tram drivers,” he added.
Further details about the apprenticeship can be found on the Institute for Apprenticeships website, here.