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Official agreement builds on partnership to get skills on track

Group of partners including the Vice Chancellor with a signed copy of the agreement

The University of Wolverhampton has signed an official agreement with the Central Rail Systems Alliance (CRSA) to build on its existing partnership to get skills on track for the future. 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Ebrahim Adia, and four members of the Alliance from Balfour Beatty, Network Rail, TSO and Atkins Realis representing CRSA. 

The Alliance between Network Rail, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and TSO is a 10-year programme which has been created to make a positive impact on the UK track renewals industry by drawing on the strengths of all alliance partners and collaborative working. 

As part of the partnership, the University’s School of Architecture and Built Environment based at its construction super-campus on the £120M Springfield site in Wolverhampton, is building on its existing work with the Alliance to create career opportunities for students studying a variety of degree courses including Civil Engineering, Quantity Surveying, Project Management, Building Surveying and Structural Engineering, to provide real-life work experience on projects using state-of-the-art construction digital technology as well as fostering business engagement links with research academics at the National Brownfield Institute (NBI). 

Professor Ebrahim Adia, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “We have a 200- year heritage at the University and we are locked into the context of the region. Engineering and construction play a big part in the Black Country and, as a result of this, our courses are geared up towards meeting the needs of industry.  Many of our students are the first in their family to go to university and many come to us with a view to improving their job prospects which is why partnerships like this are so critical in that context. 

“Placements in industry and guest lectures help us to keep our curriculum up to date, so this is important on many levels, the Alliance is also sponsoring a room at the School of Architecture and Built Environment so partnerships like these really bring this amazing investment at Springfield to life.” 

Alan Atkins, Alliance Director (CRSA) and an executive team member of Balfour Beatty Rail, said: “This partnership agreement is especially important to us because we recognise the importance of attracting young talent into such big and established organisations like ours. We have a very ambitious target to achieve 50% growth over the coming years and our organisations need to thrive on change and we need energy, enthusiasm, passion and diversity to move the industry forward from years of tradition.  

“It’s a very progressive step and it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to engage with the academics and students who have created this amazing super-campus dedicated to innovation and new ways of working in construction and engineering. We’re looking for people with the right mindset who want to engage and do something challenging. We’ve got Apprenticeships as well as Graduate schemes on offer and we’re keen to attract all kinds of talent from all age groups.” 

Picture captions from left to right: Kenneth Crockett, CRSA Commercial Director – Atkins Realis, Stefani Dupree, HR & Communications Manager – NGE/TSO, Professor Ebrahim Adia, Vice Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, Alan Atkins, Alliance Director (CRSA) - Balfour Beatty and Andrew Clode, Head of Commercial and Finance, Network Rail    

For more information about courses at the University of Wolverhampton check out the website or visit one of our forthcoming Open Days. 



For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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