The number of people to have passed through a railway apprenticeship scheme enabled a train operator to staff an entire station, Great Western Railway has revealed today.
In support of National Apprentice Week, the rail company ran Bristol Parkway Station for a day with current and former apprentices. The eleven members of staff worked a number of different roles including train dispatch; in ticket offices and on the gate line checking tickets and providing information to customers.
Former Operations Apprentice, GWR Customer Host, and Aspire Apprentice Josh Haskins, who took part on Wednesday 8th March said:
“The Operations and Aspire apprenticeships I have completed have been a brilliant way for me to gain knowledge and experience of the industry while developing myself as a person as well.
“I have been able to earn a good wage, gain numerous qualifications and gain invaluable life experience while being involved in the apprenticeship schemes. I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who is willing to work hard.”
GWR recognises the value of well trained, helpful and friendly staff and operates three apprenticeship schemes. The Operations Apprenticeship scheme started in 2011 and to date the company has trained over 90 people in front line operational roles.
A get into management apprenticeship scheme, now called Aspire Apprenticeship, has been operated since 2015 and has trained six apprentices with a further nine halfway the program. This is in additional to the First Group Graduate Training scheme.
A four-year Engineering Apprenticeship is also offered, developing the railway engineers of the future. So far over 60 engineers have been trained since 2001.
GWR Learning and Development Manager Andrew Perry said:
“Our award winning apprenticeship programmes encompass all strands of our business, Operations level 2, Engineering level 3 and our Aspire into management program is a level 4 apprenticeship.
“Our need for skilled and innovative talent has never been so important, as the significant changes to our network draw ever nearer including electrification and new Intercity Express Trains. Apprenticeships are at the very centre of our future recruitment plans.
“We see our apprenticeships as an opportunity to inspire future talent. Talent that knows what it’s here to do from day one, cares about it, feels part of our journey, and is proud of it, providing the opportunity to revalue rail.”