Govia Thameslink – the UK’s largest rail company – announced in March that they would be launching a recruitment campaign designed to increase diversity on UK railways. This exciting announcement coincided with National Apprenticeship & Careers Week and GTR will be offering 300 apprenticeships across a wide range of roles.
Zoey Hudson, Head of Talent, Diversity and Inclusion at Govia Thameslink Railway explained:
“The demand for skilled staff in the rail industry has never been higher. I am so pleased that we are creating more new apprenticeship opportunities than ever before. We are developing the skills of those who are already working in rail but also giving life-changing career opportunities to people from all backgrounds. This is all part of diversifying our recruitment approach to give more people better access to jobs and a career in rail.”
Attracting More Women to the Sector
GTR runs Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express so it is a major employed in the UK. The new campaign aims to attract more women to the industry as well as apprentices and disadvantaged youths. In the UK, just 5% of 19,000 train drivers are women and GTR are committed to improve this percentage and they have already made great strides. 30% of Southern’s trainee driver roles were taken up by women which is a sharp increase from just 18% in 2017.
The career options are endless in the enormous rail sector including engineering, digital marketing, customer service etc. The 140 apprenticeships will cover all of these areas and more and GTR has taken action to attract more women to them by attending career fairs across the UK. They have also posted job adverts of forums such as Mumsnet which saw over 500 candidates directed from the forum to the Trainee Train Driver application.
Get into Railways
GTR has also committed to their “Get into Railways” programme which they run in partnership with the Prince’s Trust. This is a customer service scheme that has seen GTR offer 84% of participants full-time roles and tailored to those aged 18-25 “who have struggled to get into employment, come from a disadvantaged background or have faced challenging personal or family circumstances”. They hope that their commitment to recruitment and diversity will benefit their business while also driving change across the industry and provide support to the community.
For those that are interested in working for the UK’s largest rail company, there will be roles right across the GTR networks so it should be easy to find a role near you or to commute each day, such as with a GTR train from Brighton to Bedford which is where a number of business and head office apprenticeships will be taking place.
It is certainly an exciting time for GTR and will hopefully pave the way for significant change in this enormous sector.