Five young people from Cambridge, St Neots, Stevenage, Potters Bar and Hertford North, hoping to get a foothold on the employment ladder, have been given a job by Great Northern after graduating from a scheme the rail company runs with the Prince of Wales' charity, The Prince's Trust.
The five, who were struggling to find work, have just graduated from a four-week course and are set to start working at stations across Great Northern, which sets them on a career path in customer service.
Lee, from St Neots, did his work experience at Stevenage and now has a job at Finsbury Park station. “Before the course I didn't know what I wanted to do and felt like I was living under a dark cloud. The station team made me smile as they were so open and friendly. I feel so much more confident and feel ready to push myself further in the future,” he said.
Daniel, from Stevenage, did his work experience at Finsbury Park and King's Cross, where he now has a job on the ticket gate. “I've been a single dad for the last three years and I wanted a chance to challenge myself. I was really grateful to be accepted by the station team I worked with. I’m so pleased to have the chance to wear this uniform again to make a good life for me and my son.”
Oliver, from Cambridge, did his work experience at King's Cross and Finsbury Park and now has a job at Stevenage station after applying for many jobs and never gaining an interview. “All the staff throughout the programme were very welcoming. This has given me so much confidence,” he said.
James, from Hertford North, did his work experience at Stevenage and has a job at Gordon Hill. “Before this course I was on a dead end road and was scared of meeting new people. I've made a whole new group of friends and want to say thank you to everyone at the station. I really enjoyed the four weeks and had an amazing time,” he said.
Charlie, from Potters Bar, did his work experience at King's Cross and Finsbury Park, where he now has a job. “I loved this course and learnt so much. I can't fault the team for how wonderful they were. I've finally found a place where I feel I belong,” he said.
The 'Get Into Railways' programme gives young people aged 16-25 vital learning and skills to help them find work in any industry, with a specific focus on the railway.
The four-week London-based course, teaches candidates about aspects of the railway including first aid, security protocols, and customer service skills that are vital when working at stations. Half the teaching is in the classroom and the other half out on the route, working with staff to gain practical work experience. Training also includes writing CVs and learning interview skills, to help candidates in their job hunt. The course concludes with a presentation where the youngsters speak to members of Great Northern and the Trust about how the much the experience has changed their lives.
Great Northern's HR Director, Andy Bindon, added: “Listening to what the youngsters said at the end of the programme, I feel so humble and proud of all the people across our business who have worked so hard to support them on this course.
“We are very proud of our long association with The Prince's Trust and I thank everyone from across both companies who have helped make such a different to the lives of disadvantaged youngsters. I also thank the group for their own efforts and wish them the best for the future.”
Paul Beesley, Interim Director for The Prince’s Trust in Central England, said, “As well as developing skills and providing experience, the Get into Railways programme, with our fantastic partners at Great Northern, bridges the gap between employers and young job seekers. Congratulations to the young people who are making great strides towards positive and successful futures.”
Notes to editors
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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.
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