NATIONAL rail contractor, QTS Group, has completed the construction of a new rope access training centre at its Scottish headquarters in Drumclog, South Lanarkshire.
Work on the bespoke, state-of-the-art facility was completed in February 2022 and has been audited and approved by the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA).
The site, which is one of a small number of specialist training centres in Scotland, will offer rope access training courses to candidates from a range of sectors and be used to upskill QTS Group’s operatives who require to use rope access to access and carry out work in many areas of the railway infrastructure.
Joe Thompson, a specialist rope access instructor, works with the leading rail contractor to deliver the training sessions, which include IRATA Rope Access levels one to three. Training sessions are currently taken in groups of six or less.
The course aims to provide candidates with knowledge of the safest ways to work at high levels and teach the basic skills required for movement on ropes. This involves a mixture of theoretical and practical work, and includes manoeuvring on ropes, rope climbing and abseiling. The centre includes abseiling tower, mast and beams reaching heights of up to 9 metres.
QTS Group has also announced plans to install a rock-climbing wall at the facility later this year.
The new site is the latest addition to QTS Group’s National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) gold-rated training facilities, which include a 700m double line railway training track, an underground confined space chamber and tunnel system and modern classroom facilities to aid teaching and learning.
Lorna Gibson, MD of QTS Training, said: “It’s fantastic to finally launch our cutting-edge rope access training centre, which will prove hugely valuable to both our employees, our customers and the wider local area. At QTS, we are committed to investing in skills and training to help develop the next generation of talent in the rail industry.”
“This specialist site is a great addition to our fantastic training facilities, and it’s so exciting that IRATA has fully audited and approved the centre, and we are now delivering our courses. We plan to increase the number of courses we offer, and to further expand our facilities and trainer team in the future to ensure we can meet the demand for the rail industry’s training needs.”