Nine young unemployed people from Stevenage, Hertford, St Albans and Luton have secured roles with Great Northern, following their successful completion of a ‘Get Into Railways’ employability programme run by the train company and youth charity The Prince’s Trust.
The youngsters, aged between the ages of 18 and 25, were part of a group of 11 who attended a four-week programme earlier this summer, run in partnership between the two organisations, which included practical skills development and the chance to build their CVs, as well as experiencing a number of mock interviews with Great Northern staff. The group then completed two weeks of practical work experience at a range of stations, including Stevenage, Hitchin, Welwyn Garden City, King’s Cross and Finsbury Park.
The Trust supports young people who have experienced difficulties finding or sustaining work. Many of the young people helped by The Trust are in or leaving care, facing issues such as homelessness or mental health problems, struggled at school or have been in trouble with the law.
Throughout the programme, The Prince's Trust helped the young people develop their skills and confidence to help them become work-ready. This was recognised by Great Northern staff, as they reviewed the youngsters against vacancies within stations. The individuals have been offered jobs, either working on the station gateline or platforms, and are in the progress of completing medicals with the company.
Speaking at the conclusion of the programme, Iram, from Luton, said: “Before the course I was actively seeking work. I took refuge with The Prince’s Trust and have seen the success they offer. Through this course I now understand more about how the railway industry works. Thanks to all at Great Northern for helping me shine.”
Josh, who spent his work experience at King’s Cross, added: “I needed a change in direction as I was never satisfied with other jobs I’ve had in the past. I’ve always done odd jobs, but needed a career, so I could provide for my family. I’ve really enjoyed this opportunity and rediscovered my confidence. I have a new focus and thank The Prince’s Trust and Great Northern for this.”
Ashleigh, who spent her time at Hitchin and Welwyn Garden City, concluded: “I never thought I’d enjoy this so much. The station staff welcomed me as one of the team. I’ve been on a real journey and look forward to using my new skills to help others in the future.”
Great Northern’s Passenger Services Director Keith Jipps said: “I am really pleased to have seen so many youngsters complete the latest programme with us. To see the majority of them now have the confidence and ability to secure roles with us, is a true reflection of the hard work of my teams, alongside those from the Trust.
“This is the tenth programme our staff have been involved in with the Trust and it continues to be something that our managers all want to be support. I’d like to thank those from across both organisations who have helped the young people develop throughout the programme.”
John O’Reilly, Director, The Prince’s Trust in Central England, said: “At The Prince’s Trust, we know that most young people have the determination and willingness to find jobs, but often lack the opportunities to do so. Partnerships between The Trust and leading employers such as Great Northern are invaluable to offer jobless young people workplace experience and give them the confidence and skills they need to move into employment.”
All of those completing the programme have also been offered further support by Great Northern staff, who have volunteered as mentors. Twenty individuals from across the business have been trained by the charity to support any individual who completes the programme, to help them move into work or further training.
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which runs Great Northern services to Peterborough, Cambridge and Hertford from King’s Cross and Moorgate as well as Thameslink between Bedford and Brighton, is committed to running three programmes each year across its network. The next course will be held in the Croydon area later this year.
The course included an individual from Cambridge, two from Hertford, one from Letchworth Garden City, four based in Luton, two from Stevenage and a pair from Welwyn Garden City
The group were of various ages, with almost half under the age of 20, and the others slightly older.
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About The Prince’s Trust
Youth charity The Prince’s Trust helps disadvantaged young people to get their lives on track. Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1976, this year it is celebrating 40 years of supporting 13 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed and those struggling at school and at risk of exclusion.
Many of the young people helped by The Prince’s Trust are in or leaving care, facing issues such as homelessness or mental health issues, or they have been in trouble with the law. The Trust’s programmes give vulnerable young people the practical and financial support needed to stabilise their lives, helping develop self-esteem and skills for work. Three in four young people supported by The Prince’s Trust move into work, education or training.
The Prince’s Trust has supported 825,000 young people in the last 40 years and this year it will support over 100 more each day.
Further information about The Prince’s Trust is available at princes-trust.org.uk or on 0800 842 842.
About Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
The GTR investment programme for stations includes funding for more CCTV, toilet refurbishments, new retail facilities, help points and car park improvements – as well as plans for increased motorcycle storage and improved transport integration.
southernrailway.com, gatwickexpress.com, thameslinkrailway.com greatnorthernrail.com