Skills in the Rail Sector – In partnership with Skills Development Scotland

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Date and Time:

12 May 2021 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Event Location:


Skills Development Scotland; Skills for Growth and Apprenticeship Programmes

Sustainable growth in Scotland’s Rail industry depends on attracting and retaining a highly skilled, talented, and well-led workforce. This means new skills and talent will be needed to help Scotland to meet the scope of work opportunities in the future. This event will be of interest to those considering diversifying in the rail sector, with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the skills support available to your business from Skills Development Scotland.

In this session, you will hear about two of the specialist programmes that SDS runs – the first being Skills for Growth. Kathryn Hill from SDS will introduce this session and run through what the Skills for Growth programme covers. You will also hear from Gordon Deuchars from Quest Engineering, a CNC machining specialist business based in Dundee, who have benefitted hugely from being part of the Skills for Growth programme, working closely with Kathryn and the team at SDS.

Our second session will welcome guest speakers Kyle Young, Relationship Account Exec at SDS, and Emma Thursby of member company Thales UK. This session will explore the SDS Apprenticeship Programme, you will also hear about Thales’ recent success as winners of The Apprentice of the Year Award 2021 and the tangible benefits they have seen in their business since working alongside SDS. There will be a lot to learn from this event and we encourage you to register now to find out how your team might benefit from the support of SDS.

Register here. 


Our Speakers –


Kathryn Hill, Employer Engagement Advisor, Skills for Growth, SDS. Since 2019, Kathryn has been the Employer Engagement Adviser for SDS covering Tayside and Fife, and during this time has worked closely with small and medium-sized employers to support them through their skills and training needs. Most of Kathryn’s time is spent working alongside employers as they undertake SDS’s Skills for Growth service. With a background in retail banking and most recently running her own business for five years, Kathryn is well-versed in the challenges and effort required to running an SME and equipped with the skills, experience and understanding to support employers in the region.

Gordon Deuchars, Managing Director at Quest Precision. Quest Precision has worked closely with Kathryn and Skills Development Scotland to assess the company for strengths and weaknesses. This included discussions with all employees without management’s input, providing Quest with a full 360-degree review of the company. As a result of these discussions, Annual Appraisals & Personal Development Plans have been implemented to help their employees understand their value to the company, and help them take the steps needed to reach the next stage in their careers.

Kyle Young, Relationship Account Executive, SDS. As a Relationship Account Executive at Skills Development Scotland, Kyle supports employers in Glasgow/West navigate the Scottish Skills System. He works proactively with employers, on an Account Managed basis, at both a strategic and operational level to support them in achieving their Skills Investment and Workforce Planning Objectives. Furthermore, Kyle supports with Talent Attraction, Succession Planning, Diagnosing and Understanding their existing and anticipated skills requirements, and supporting them in finding solutions through Work-based Learning, the Apprenticeship Family (Foundation Apprenticeships, Modern Apprenticeships & Graduate Level Apprenticeships).

Emma Thursby, Apprentice & Industrial Training Manager, Thales. Thales employs 700 people in Scotland and is the sole supplier of submarine periscopes and optronic masts to the Royal Navy and a centre of excellence for vehicle integration. The organisation has taken on apprentices since the business started 132 years ago and recently underlined its commitment to apprenticeships by recruiting 12 more in September; bringing its total cohort in Scotland to 38. The global technology group uses apprenticeships to up-skill and progress its young people, with former Modern Apprentices progressing on to Graduate Apprenticeships. It has expanded its work with schools to introduce Foundation Apprenticeships so it can find and nurture talent at an earlier age. Thales Engineering: Design and Manufacture Graduate Apprentice, Samir Khan-Young is Scottish Graduate Apprentice of the Year and overall winner of Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year in this year’s Scottish Apprenticeship Awards.



We hope you can join us for what promises to be an interesting and informative event. Register here.