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Second College Apprentice Gives TBM Rail Platform To Expand

Fast-moving rail firm TBM Rail has taken on a second South Cheshire College apprentice to join its expanding team.

Abi Duncan has linked up with the Crewe-based business and is working towards a Business and Administration apprenticeship.

She is following closely in the footsteps of Kirsty Walley who is now a full time member of the company after completing the same programme.

Abi works full time at the TBM Rail, based on the Marshfield Bank Industrial Estate in Crewe, which provides a comprehensive range of products and services and cost effective solutions for the UK rail industry.

Her Business and Administration apprenticeship is assessed entirely in the workplace but Abi will also attend the College’s Crewe campus once a week to complete an IT Functional Skills qualification.

Abi carries out a whole range of duties at TBM including customer service and administration tasks in the office and keeping track of the company’s orders and accounts systems.

The apprenticeship is giving her the opportunity to earn cash, develop her administration skills in a busy workplace environment and gain a new qualification at the same time.

TBM Rail is comprised of a group of four companies which include TBM Technologies, TBM Spares, TBM Servicing and TBM Interiors.

The company combines an in-depth knowledge and experience of the rail sector with a drive and commitment to supplying high quality products and an exemplary level of service.

Former Ruskin Community High School pupil Abi completed a full time course at South Cheshire College before signing up for the apprenticeship programme.

Abi, 18, of Crewe, said: “I’ve always enjoyed working on computers and databases and this is something that I have set my sights on for a long time.

“TBM Rail are giving me the opportunity to gain new administration and computing skills and I’m enjoying being part of the set-up here.

“I made a good choice by signing up for the apprenticeship and who knows where it might lead to in the future. For the moment I’m just enjoying it from day-to-day.”

Kirsty Walley is now undertaking a project management course at TBM Rail following her progression with the company and Abi has filled the void for administration duties.

Neil Smith, Director of TBM Rail, recruited Abi and Kirsty through South Cheshire College and says apprenticeships are working well for the company.

Neil has vast experience in the rail industry, having worked for Bombardier for 19 years, and decided to set up his own company in 2009 which started out with six full time staff and is now a team of 11.

Neil said: “We are a relatively new company but we have expanded at a rapid pace in a short space of time.

“I’m delighted with how well Kirsty has done and we are very pleased with how Abi has fitted in so far as well.

“We need someone in the office to handle our orders and do the many other administrative tasks that we just don’t have time to do because the business has really taken off.”

Neil is no stranger to South Cheshire College after studying a City and Guilds Fabrication qualification back in 1989 and he is proud of the business he has developed.

He added: “Apprenticeships are definitely the way forward and I would say that many more businesses should go down this route, to give them an extra pair of hands in the workplace and to develop the skills of local young people.

“I’ve been looking at the possibility of taking on a third apprentice which shows just how highly we value them.”

Steph Simcox, South Cheshire College Work Based Learning Assessor for Business Administration and Customer Service at South Cheshire College, said: “We have an excellent relationship with TBM Rail and are pleased that our apprentices are helping the company to move forward.

“It’s great to see a Crewe based company going from strength-to-strength and talented young people playing a key role in that success.”

To find out more about TBM Rail, please visit