Young people travel on our rail and bus networks every day, and it is important to acknowledge that some do not get the opportunities they deserve.
Our rail operating company, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has worked in partnership with the Prince's Trust for more than five years. Together, they deliver the "Get into Railways" scheme - a programme for disadvantaged young people who have struggled to enter the workforce. The scheme has generated £1.6m of social benefit to UK society in this time.
The scheme offers 18-25-year olds two weeks of customer service training in the classroom, where they can gain skills in areas such as conflict resolution and health and safety. This is followed by two weeks of work experience in stations, depots or GTR’s Head Office, where they can put their skills into practice. This gives applicants an insight into the rail industry and helps them to become work-ready, developing the knowledge, skills and confidence that will help them in their future careers – be it at GTR or elsewhere.
In 2019, 77% of 140 applicants were offered a job after the four-week placement.
The “Get into Railways” scheme genuinely helps the lives of young people: after each placement, the participants give a presentation to talk about what the scheme meant to them. For some, the scheme and securing a job at GTR means that they can help to support their family. For others, the scheme has helped to rebuild their confidence - whether they had had setbacks due to injury or illness.
Through the scheme, GTR is helping to tackle the skills gap in the transport industry by recruiting young people into the workforce, with three quarters of participants securing permanent, sustainable jobs on the GTR network. The rail operator is committed to deliver more courses in 2020 and 2021.
The scheme won the 'Advancing Social Mobility in the Workplace' award at the Employers' Network for Equality & Inclusion Awards in 2019
By continuing to invest in this scheme, we can help young people to progress and grow, giving them the skills that they need to develop for the workplace. It also means that we can continue to create a more diverse workforce that reflects the communities that we serve.