London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is supporting young people in gaining valuable work experience by providing six month job placements across the business.
The roles have been created as part of the Kickstart Scheme, launched by the Department for Work and Pensions to encourage businesses to provide new job placements for 16 to 24-year olds who receive Universal Credit and who are at risk of long-term unemployment.
Since March, LNER has welcomed a total of 14 young people to the business, taking up a wide variety of roles, from engineering to marketing and HR, as they experience what it is like to work within the rail industry.
The young people on the placements are benefitting from a bespoke employability development programme, getting the chance to gain new experiences and develop their key skills in areas such as team work and communication. Each individual has a development plan which will be monitored throughout the placement to ensure they get the most out of their time at LNER.
Sophie Partington, who joined LNER on the Kickstart scheme in March, said: “I graduated from university last year and have found it to be a struggle to gain a meaningful job without prior experience. I am therefore really excited about my placement with LNER and look forward to gaining new skills and experience that will help me in my future career.
“I was originally a bit anxious after a year spent largely at home, but I’ve been given a really warm welcome and already feel part of the team.”
In January, LNER was awarded ‘UK Top Employer’ status by the Top Employers Institute for the second year running, making the opportunity to experience the world of work with them all the more valuable due to their focus on employee development and commitment to health and wellbeing.
Craig Laughton, Head of Learning Experience at LNER, said: “The last year has been an incredibly challenging time for young people who are just starting out in the world of work. We therefore jumped at the chance to create opportunities as part of the Kickstart scheme, introducing young people to the wide variety of different professions in the rail industry and providing them with new experience and skills that will aid them in their future career.
“We also hope that the scheme will help create a talent pipeline of young people who may not have previously considered the opportunities that our industry has to offer, so we will be working hard to ensure that they are passionate advocates for rail.”
LNER is looking forward to welcoming a second group of young people as part of the Kickstart scheme later in the year. Anyone interested in taking part in the Kickstart scheme should speak to their Jobcentre Plus Work Coach.
Photo credit: LNER