National College for High Speed Rail appoints chief executive officer

John Evans, CEO National College for High Speed Rail

The National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR) is one step closer  following the appointment by the college board of John Evans as its Chief Executive Officer.

Evans joins from FirstGroup, where as group HR director he oversaw HR strategy and delivery.  He has over 25 years’ experience in marketing and HR and has worked for organisations across the public and private sectors including Strathclyde Police, Diageo and British Airways.

Evans' responsibility as CEO of the NCHSR John will take responsibility for the development of the college in terms of shaping the curriculum, college design and also the critical liaison with stakeholders, including employers, to help deliver a new generation of top class engineers for the rail industry.

NCHSR is the first fully incorporated college to be developed from scratch and is intended to provide Britain’s workforce with the specialist training and qualifications required to build HS2 and other infrastructure projects in the future.

"John represents a hugely important addition to the National College for High Speed Rail and I’m extremely pleased to welcome him to the team," said chair of the college board Terry Morgan. "His commitment and passion for people development will be vital as we move closer to opening the college in two years’ time.

“I am passionate about the development of young engineering and other talent and I believe it to be critical to building the UK’s future workforce" - John Evans, new CEO of the National College for High Speed Rail

“The National College for High Speed Rail has a unique opportunity to ensure that the skills needed to support the delivery of HS2 are in place and able to respond to other infrastructure projects in future.”

Evans said he was delighted to be joining the college at a pivotal point in its development.  "The opportunity to be involved in shaping the college is a huge professional and personal incentive for me," he said.

“I am passionate about the development of young engineering and other talent and I believe it to be critical to building the UK’s future workforce.  I am really looking forward to playing a key role in developing the college which will contribute hugely to the delivery of HS2.”

The NCHSR was incorporated in July this year and is being developed in partnership with Department for Transport, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, Birmingham City Council, Doncaster Council and HS2 Ltd.

The college will be open to a wide range of people including new entrants, existing workforce, students studying for a foundation degree in rail engineering, access students, mature entrants (science based / non science based), higher apprentice rail engineering students, progression from L3 diploma rail engineering, continuous professional development and career changers.

The college will have two main sites in Birmingham and Doncaster and will also put in place links with a network of training providers from across the UK.  Both councils have recently received formal planning applications for consideration

“The National College for High Speed Rail at Doncaster will help to deliver an important infrastructure project and have a significant impact on job creation and business growth in the region," said Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones. "Doncaster has a historic place in railway heritage and by training the engineers of the future, we will strengthen our national and international role in the global rail industry. We welcome the latest sign of major progress.”

Leader of Birmingham City Council Albert Bore said:  “We’re looking forward to working with John to ensure the National College for High Speed Rail generates home-grown rail engineers and creates a skills legacy for generations to come.  In the meantime, the designs for the Birmingham campus have been really well received and we are on track to begin construction in April 2016 before welcoming the first students to Birmingham in September 2017.” 

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