It aims to help young people take their first steps towards a career in transport, by providing work experience and helping them develop their core employability skills through virtual workshop sessions.
WMT, operator of West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway, supported 11 young Prince’s Trust members, all aged between 18 and 30, as part of a two-week initiative, with placements at its Birmingham head office and across WMT stations along the West Midlands network.
Dependent on the individual’s interests and aspirations, members worked alongside a variety of teams at WMT, including revenue protection, train presentation and internal communications.
Participants had the chance to travel across the network to experience what it was like working as one of the railway’s front-line team members, as well as embarking on internal communication projects to help produce companywide activities.
Due to Covid-19, the placement was split into two parts, work experience placements and online virtual workshops to help reduce face to face contact.
The virtual training workshops included sessions on health and safety, conflict resolution and customer service.
The Prince’s Trust also delivered employability training sessions on CV best practice, job application advice, and interview skills.
Jo McPhail, HR director at West Midlands Trains, said: “We are incredibly proud to work in partnership with The Prince’s Trust to deliver the ‘Get into Transport’ scheme.
"This initiative aims to engage with our local communities and offer support to young people to help them overcome barriers so they can move forward with their lives.
"The programme provides a unique opportunity to gain ‘on the job’ experience and training within the rail industry.
"It has the potential to provide a launchpad to a future career and is also a great way for employers like West Midlands Trains to identify new talent who may not otherwise have considered working in the sector.”
Sarah Taylor, a Prince’s Trust executive, said: “The ‘Get into Transport’ scheme with West Midlands Trains is not only designed to develop essential skills and boost confidence in an interesting and important industry, but it also gives young people a chance to add recent experience to their CV.
"The partnership, this year in particular, takes on added importance due to the economic and social devastation caused by Covid-19, which has made it harder for young people to get the kick-start into employment that they need.
“We look forward to continue working with West Midlands Trains to help engage and inspire young people through the power of rail transport, as well as helping them prepare to become work ready.”
This year marked the second anniversary of the partnership with West Midlands Trains and a scheme that will continue to help young people gain vital skills and experience to help get their career on track.