To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to include provisions on improving the quality of and access to training and continuing professional development for employeers of train operating companies in all future franchise agreements.
Detailed decisions around staff training and capability rightly sits with the train operators. In recent competitions (see the Northern and TransPennine Invitations To Tender for the most recent examples) we have put additional requirements on bidders to work with staff to build capability and skills, encouraging train operators to think about these vital matters.
The rail industry is developing a comprehensive skills strategy identifying the key challenges facing the sector and focussing on those areas that will support growth and productivity. This work has the support of my department, the Rail Delivery Group and the Rail Supply Group and will be co-ordinated by the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering.