Aspiring rail engineers will be able to train even better for their future careers following the arrival of a Docklands Light Railway (DLR) carriage at the London Rail Academy, based at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London.

The huge 15m long carriage will help provide practical training for students and apprentices at the academy located at the college’s Enfield Centre.

Engineering UK estimates there is an annual shortfall of between 37,000 to 59,000 in core engineering roles despite an annual demand of 124,000 jobs, and says it is essential that more young people study STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.

The carriage made an 11-mile journey on the back of a flatbed articulated lorry from the Transport for London (TfL) Ilford Depot to the Enfield Centre in Hertford Road on 19 December. The lorry slowly manoeuvred the carriage into the college’s rear car park where it was then lifted by a crane and lowered onto a concrete base next to the London Rail Academy workshop.

The carriage is a wooden replica of an actual DLR carriage, which was made by Spanish transport engineering manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) for the launch of a new fleet of 43 trains that are due to come into service in 2023. A temporary shelter has been built to house the carriage until a more permanent engineering shed is constructed on the site.

Barry Connelly, Strategic Adviser for Engineering Development at CONEL, said: “The carriage was specifically built to promote the new DLR rolling stock to the rail industry in September 2020. Over the past few months I worked with TfL to reach an agreement to adopt the carriage and install it at the London Rail Academy to improve the learning experience for our students.

“The carriage will enable our current and future Level 2 to Level 4 students and apprentices to receive rail engineering training that is as close as it gets when it comes to gaining the technical skills and knowledge to realise their potential.

“The carriage further complements our existing range of high value equipment at the academy, which has been recognised as the leading rail industry sector college in London and surrounding counties.”

CONEL is part of Capital City College Group (CCCG), which also comprises City and Islington College, Westminster College and apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training (CCCT). The college offers engineering diploma courses and apprenticeships through CCCT and transport engineering companies including TfL, Siemens, Bombardier, Hitachi, Eurostar, Alstom, Thales, London Underground and DLR.       

Marcia Summers, Assistant Principal for Technical Industries, said: “This carriage is a fantastic addition to our engineering provision at CONEL, and a sign of our real commitment to becoming the number one hub for providing training for rail engineering careers in London.

“This acquisition will support students and apprentices at the London Rail Academy to gain the knowledge and expertise they need, and in turn help plug the current STEM learning skills gap in the engineering industry.”

Find out more about our railway engineering courses and apprenticeships.

Students looking to gain careers in the military or emergency services learned how to control large crowds when they undertook public order training with the Metropolitan Police.

More than 40 students studying Public Services at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) took part in the exercise with the force’s Territorial Support Group (TSG).

Officers gave students an introduction to the role of the TSG and explained how public order plays an important part in emergency incident response and management of events such as rallies, protests, sporting events, state visits and parades.

Insp Steve Wilson, Sgt Jim Meier, PC Sachin Vishram, PC Aaron Bidewell and PC Ruth Cooper led the training in the rear car park at the college’s Tottenham Centre.

Students learnt about command and control when managing large crowds including creating a shield, line holding, crowd direction and interacting with the public via a range of practical scenarios.

Practical parts of the training involved using equipment such as helmets, shields, armour, and door openers, which were wiped down to keep students COVID safe.

Student Mert Mustafa, 20, who wants to become a detective in the Met, said: “It really ignited my passion for joining the police and was a useful step in training for our upcoming careers. We got to try out police equipment, see how they work and what tactics they use in crowd management.”

Another student, Elif Sevinch, 22, who also wants to join the police, said: “We learnt a lot about what the police do at events and protests and how they control them, and also about ‘stop and search’ and what they have to explain to the public.

“It was a good experience that I can put on my CV and personal statement for university, which has also prepared me well for my career.”

The training formed part of practical units on Command and Control, Responding to Emergency Incidents, Interservice Collaboration, and Security and Discipline covered on Public Services diploma courses.

These courses also explain how the military and emergency services operate and provide students with knowledge on human behaviour and social issues, and develop their skills in leadership, teamwork, and communication.

Brendan Berry, Curriculum Manager for Public Services, said: “Public order training is a voluntary service undertaken by the police across the UK to provide students with the skills required to deal with a variety of public order situations safely and effectively.

“This was a fantastic opportunity, enabling learners to engage with the Metropolitan Police, and offer them an opportunity to gain skills needed for their future careers. We look forward to the Met’s next visit in January for the team to work again with our student community.”

Click here to find out more about Public Services courses.