Train operator Northern is looking to take on 24 new apprentices in 2021, adding to a total of 300 young people who are already part of the rail operator’s programme and are employed in a variety of roles across the business.
Rail industry apprenticeships have been a key part of the employment process for many years and the strength of the Northern scheme is demonstrated by the number of employees who were once apprentices.
Speaking at the start of National Apprenticeship Week (8-14 February 2021), chief operating officer Tricia Williams said: “Whether they have an interest in engineering, train planning, the control room, HR, customer service or any of the other roles our staff carry out, our apprentices learn their craft from experienced colleagues while taking their first steps on a career that will keep northerners on the move for years to come.
“And, of course, we are committed to helping our younger colleagues continue their formal education. As part of the apprenticeship scheme, they attend college two days every month to work with their designated tutor to help gain their qualifications.
“We also like to give our apprentices a sense of being part of the wider community and, during their time on the scheme, they work together as a group to deliver a project aimed at improving one of our stations. Through this project they develop a wide range of skills – outside of their chosen specialism – and learn how to engage with local businesses, community groups and local government.
“Our scheme is not just about setting people up for a career in rail, it is about setting them up for life.”
Northern, which has apprenticeships available in engineering and operations at locations across the north of England, is looking to hear from young people looking to take their first steps on a career in rail.
“The railway has a proud tradition of welcoming and nurturing talent and several members of our management team – as well as countless other members of staff – started their careers on the railway with Northern,” Tricia added.
“Now we’re looking for the next generation of rail staff to join Northern and help us transform the rail network in the north of England.
“We are also keen to employ a diverse workforce that represents the communities we serve and want to attract more women, black and ethnic minority people to rail.
“Our message to prospective employees is that, whoever they are and whatever their background, they can trust that Northern is a great place to work and a great place to forge a career.”