Apprentices take over railway station

Wednesday 08th March 2017

The number of people to have passed through a railway apprenticeship scheme is enabling a train operator to staff an entire station, Great Western Railway has revealed today.

In support of National Apprentice Week, the rail company is to run Bristol Parkway Station for a day with current and former apprentices.

The eleven members of staff will work a number of different roles including train dispatch; in ticket offices and on the gate line checking tickets and providing information to customers. 

Former Operations Apprentice, GWR Customer Host, and Aspire Apprentice Josh Haskins, who will be working on Wednesday said:

"The Operations and Aspire apprenticeships I have completed have been a brilliant way for me to gain knowledge and experience of the industry while developing myself as a person as well.

“I have been able to earn a good wage, gain numerous qualifications and gain invaluable life experience while being involved in the apprenticeship schemes. I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who is willing to work hard.”

GWR recognises the value of well trained, helpful and friendly staff and operates three apprenticeship schemes. The Operations Apprenticeship scheme started in 2011 and to date the company has trained over 90 people in front line operational roles.

A get into management apprenticeship scheme, now called Aspire Apprenticeship, has been operated since 2015 and has trained six apprentices with a further nine halfway the program. This is in additional to the First Group Graduate Training scheme.

A four-year Engineering Apprenticeship is also offered, developing the railway engineers of the future. So far over 60 engineers have been trained since 2001.

GWR Learning and Development Manager Andrew Perry said:

“Our award winning apprenticeship programmes encompass all strands of our business, Operations level 2, Engineering level 3 and our Aspire into management program is a level 4 apprenticeship.

“Our need for skilled and innovative talent has never been so important, as the significant changes to our network draw ever nearer including electrification and new Intercity Express Trains. Apprenticeships are at the very centre of our future recruitment plans. 

“We see our apprenticeships as an opportunity to inspire future talent.  Talent that knows what it’s here to do from day one, cares about it, feels part of our journey, and is proud of it, providing the opportunity to revalue rail.”

Notes to editors

Great Western Railway (GWR) provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services. We help over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year - across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England.

We’re currently seeing the biggest investment in the network since Brunel so we can offer more trains, more seats, and shorter, more frequent journeys and continue the network’s heritage of helping connect more businesses to new and prosperous markets. Through a series of initiatives we aim to be a good neighbour to the communities we serve and are committed to making a positive social impact in those regions. Learn how we're Building a Greater West at GWR is a FirstGroup company.