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Worldline apprentices are the catalysts for rail’s bright future

With 45 apprentices hired to date, including 32 in 2021 and plans to hire over 50 this year, Worldline UK & I is proud to support 2022 National Apprenticeship Week.

National Apprenticeship Week 2022 (7th-13th Feb) is the 15th annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships, highlighting the benefits of apprenticeships to society, business and most importantly, apprentices themselves. The theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is ‘build the future’ which closely aligns with Worldline’s vision to empower social mobility with a focus on our people, communities and environment.

32 apprentices joined Worldline UK & I in 2021, who are now busily learning about specialisms like data science, project management, software development and business administration.


As well as achieving formal qualifications and tech-focused skills for the future, Worldline’s apprentices are gaining invaluable life experience about the business world as they embark on their careers. Worldline, a strategic supplier to UK rail as well as being the world’s fourth-largest payments company, is planning to up its apprentice headcount by 51 in the year ahead.

Worldline UK & I’s Transformation Director Julie Hillman leads the business’ Apprenticeship Programme and said: “As a strategic supplier to UK rail, Worldline knows how important it is for the sector to have people with the digital and tech-focused skills that will define its future. We want our Apprenticeship Programme to contribute to that and on the evidence so far, it really is.”

The UK government’s Williams-Shapps Plan outlines how an efficient rail network can improve social mobility and allow greater access to work, education and healthcare throughout the country. Social mobility is key to ensuring the uptake of apprenticeships by young people now and in the future. Crucially, rather than just providing one-off training, Worldline is offering apprenticeships that come with the opportunity of a long-term career:

Julie added: “Worldline’s Apprenticeship Programme is making a direct contribution to the UK by equipping new entrants to the rail industry with digital-focused skills for the future. Like others across the industry, we want the UK to be a science and technology superpower and providing well-structured apprenticeships is one way we can do this. By bringing new people into rail we can also support the industry in realising the ambitions for Great British Railways (GBR).

“The diverse backgrounds and life experiences of our apprentices are invaluable to us, and we feel so lucky to have them. In return for early-career or support in helping people change careers, we get committed team members who positively challenge our thinking and make a clear and strong contribution to our business.”

Julie Hillman

“The diverse backgrounds and life experiences of our apprentices are invaluable to us, and we feel so lucky to have them. In return for early-career or support in helping people change careers, we get committed team members who positively challenge our thinking and make a clear and strong contribution to our business.”

Worldline’s apprentices at offices across the UK include school-leavers, graduates and career changers like Rachel Graham and Alice Hughes. Alice said: “After University I wanted to keep on learning but was ready to get hands-on practical experience of the world of work and that is why I applied for an apprenticeship at Worldline. Getting more qualifications but learning and earning at the same time is the perfect combination for me.

“I feel really supported at work: in terms of the day-to-day job, getting enough time for the formal learning part of my apprenticeship and deciding what to do next in my career. Worldline’s future-focused and committed to making society better and it’s great to be in an organisation like that’.”

Rachel added: “I’m currently working on an e-commerce API which will improve the speed and performance of train ticket purchasing. It’s exciting because it’s something that so many people will end up experiencing in their day to day lives when it goes live.”

Worldline’s Apprenticeship Programme is underpinned by wide-ranging support including mentoring, formal tutoring by accredited apprenticeship providers and an ongoing development programme.

Julie added: “Our apprentices are supported on an on-going basis by experienced line managers, mentors and our accredited apprenticeship providers. We’ve got a duty of care to our apprentices that I take really seriously but we also want to make sure they can get the most out of their time with us.

“We also run bi-monthly knowledge sharing webinars where senior members of our UK & Global organisation share their own personal career journeys and hints and tips for a successful career, and bi-monthly coffee and chat calls to ensure the cohort remains as a community.” Julie also highlighted the work Worldline’s apprentices are doing to support The Railway Children – of which the company is a corporate supporter:

“Our apprentices have also raised over £5,000 for our corporate charity, The Railway Children and supported the charity in-kind. They’ve run more miles than I’d care to remember, arrange coffee mornings and raffles to raise money. In other words, while they are learning about the world of work, our apprentices are giving so much!”

Martin Howell, Transport Markets Director for Worldline UK&I said: “The railway of the future will be digitally-led, and we want apprentices who will have the skills to be at the vanguard of that and that’s why we’re so invested, financially and culturally, in our Apprenticeship Programme.

Martin Howell

“Of course, all of that’s true, but as we all seek to make the societal changes that will help us ‘build back better’ in rail and beyond, investing in apprenticeships offers clear RoI for taxpayers: The NAO say this is as high as £28 per £1 invested in apprenticeships. For all those reasons, we will continue to support apprenticeships, by making more of them available in the time ahead.”

Worldline is accepting applications for its next cohort of apprentices. Find more information here.

Click here to find out more about Worldline.

Photo credit: Worldline

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