Local young people get on track for success in Leven

Nine young people have taken their first steps on the path to a potential career in the rail industry.

All are aged between 18 and 25 and make up the first cohort of the Levenmouth Rail Link Rail Skills Academy.

The Skills Academy will run for nine weeks as part of the £116m Scottish Government-funded project to reconnect Leven to the mainline rail network.

It’s part of the project’s ambition to leave a legacy and encourage the next generation of railway workers into the industry.

After a week of site inductions and getting to know each other, the students are now training for qualifications such as working at height, harness wearing, personal track safety and equipment use. After the fifth week of training, they will spend the remaining four weeks on-site gaining work experience with the contractors delivering the rail link.

The academy has been successful in other areas and has led to students gaining employment within the rail maintenance sector. The programme also includes support from Fife Council in the form of a £55 per week training allowance.

Joe Mulvenna, project manager for Network Rail said: “It’s great to welcome the students and get them started on the course. I’ve spent some time speaking with them and helping them settle in.

“They are keen, enthusiastic and happy to be here. Even this early in the course we are seeing a difference in them and they are looking forward to learning and getting out on site for their work experience.

“Seeing young people get opportunities like this and watching them progress over the nine weeks will be fantastic. Everyone on-site is excited to have them here as they will help shape the next generation of railway workers.”

Some participants in the Levenmouth Rail Skills Academy
Some participants in the Levenmouth Rail Skills Academy

Councillor Colin Davidson, convener of the Levenmouth Area Committee, said: “I’m delighted to see the academy get started as the opportunity this represents for the young people is incredible.

“When they have completed this course, they will have skills, experience and qualifications that will enable them to pursue jobs on the railway.

“This programme is just one of the many benefits to the local community from the rail link project and helps to leave a lasting legacy.”