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Training the trainers puts train operator on track to top regional award
Thursday 5 October 2006
TransPennine Express has scooped a top award for a major training programme for more than 500 staff.
The train operators intensive staff training programme for new ticket-issuing systems has been recognised with the award of the North West National Training Award 2006.
The prestigious annual award scheme is managed by the UK Skills organisation supported by the Department for Education and Skills.
TransPennine Express, which operates intercity services between all the major cities of the North of England, trained two teams of staff to train their colleagues how to master new technology and offer a faster more comprehensive service to passengers.
In just five months two new systems " STAR and Avantix - were installed and 564 people were trained to use them. The training was completed on time and at less cost than using traditional methods.
The company needed to move to a new chip and PIN compatible ticketing system for use in station booking offices and on trains.
To complete the £600,000 switchover, the company had to have old computer systems decommissioned, install new terminals in 26 booking offices at manned stations and manage the introduction of new hand-held ticket issuing and information equipment to 264 on-train conductors.
Using the new systems, booking office staff can check seat availability, provide journey planning information and advice, make a reservation and sell tickets. On trains conductors can issue tickets, from anywhere to anywhere, using the on-train system without reference to a cumbersome fares manual or timetables.
The new systems saved the company more than £200,000 a year in maintenance costs.
Training and development manager Patrick Holtby, who is based at TransPennine Express headquarters in Bridgewater House, Manchester, said: "We have saved the business £160,000 in direct training costs, whilst developing a highly skilled in-house training resource who have gone on to deliver a set of high quality bespoke training programmes, and all this ahead of the planned schedule.'
The total cost of the training was £30,000.
* TransPennine Express " run by First Group plc in partnership with Keolis SA " operates inter-city services on three main routes across the North of England,
* North TransPennine - including Newcastle to Manchester Airport, Middlesbrough to Manchester Airport, Scarborough to Liverpool and Hull to Manchester Piccadilly.
* South TransPennine from Cleethorpes via Doncaster and Sheffield to Manchester Airport
* North West " from Windermere, Barrow in Furness and Blackpool North via Preston and Bolton to Manchester Airport.
* Destinations served by TransPennine Express include Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Northallerton, Thirsk, York, Malton, Scarborough, Hull, Leeds, Huddersfield, Cleethorpes, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Meadowhall, Doncaster, Sheffield, Barrow in Furness, Blackpool, Lancaster, Preston, Bolton, Manchester, Manchester Airport, Warrington and Liverpool.