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ScotRail apprentices graduate

Posted: 12th October 2015

ScotRail’s third intake of Modern Apprentices in Customer Service graduated today under a pioneering initiative to develop young talent on Scotland’s railways.

Around 70 guests – including Derek Mackay, the Transport Minister, gathered at Glasgow’s Grand Central hotel for the graduation ceremony.

The 18-month-long scheme – a UK rail industry first – saw 15 apprentices aged between 16 and 23 when they joined the programme – work towards achieving a Level 2 Scottish Vocational Qualification in Customer Service as well as a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. During the programme, they were trained, paid and given placements in four key frontline customer service roles – station booking office, gateline, ticket examiner and on-train hospitality host.

Robert Yule, 22 year-old from Bishopbriggs, said: “The apprenticeship has been a great experience and has provided me with a good insight into the railway industry. I look forward to continuing my career with ScotRail working in a gateline position at Glasgow Central.”

“I joined the programme straight from school as I was looking for career and development opportunities, and I found the apprenticeship to be life-changing,” added 18-year old Liam Cooper from Possilpark, Glasgow.

“I have enjoyed experiencing the different customer service placements in ScotRail – particularly working on-train,” said 22-year old Chloe Allan from Dalmuir. She continued, “I am pleased to have secured a job as a ticket examiner in Helensburgh and hope to take on new challenges using the skills I gained throughout my apprenticeship.”

Rebecca Whyte, 20-year old from Perth, said: “I joined the apprenticeship because of the valuable experience and qualifications to be gained. The whole experience was really enjoyable as I met some great people and made friends for life. I’m delighted to continue my career as a full-time gateline assistant at Glasgow Central.”

Phil Verster, Managing Director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “We are extremely proud of our apprentices. They have put in a great deal of work over the last year-and-a-half and overcome a number of challenges, as well as got the most out of the experience.
“The award-winning programme – the first of its kind in the UK rail industry – has been a great success for all involved.”

Derek Mackay, Minister for Transport and Islands, said: “May I offer my congratulations to everyone graduating from ScotRail’s Modern Apprenticeships programme.
“Having met with the apprentices today, it is clear that this programme is a great way of delivering high quality learning and development opportunities for young people, as well as ensuring that passengers on Scotland’s railways will continue to receive the very best customer service experience in the future.

“I am also pleased that Abellio ScotRail pay all staff at least the Living Wage, including the apprentices on this programme, a policy which the Scottish Government supports and which has been written into the new ScotRail franchise contract.

“More widely, this is also a great example of the Scottish Government’s ambitious youth employment commitments. Over the last year, we have delivered over 25,000 Modern Apprenticeship opportunities which are instrumental in giving young people a head-start in their careers across a range of sectors, and we are providing significant new investment to increase this number even further.”

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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