MSPs have praised ScotRail’s unique modern apprenticeship scheme, which helps young people gain experience and employment opportunities. Maureen Watt MSP, Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee, and Neil Bibby MSP described ScotRail’s Modern Apprenticeships in Customer Service – the first of its kind in the UK rail industry – as a pioneering project to boost young people’s skills.
The MSPs’ comments followed a tour of the train operator’s Training Academy where they met a number of the apprentices.
ScotRail’s 18-month programme covers three key customer service roles - ticket examiner, station staff and hospitality.
The 11 young people involved are all on course to complete their apprenticeships and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards this summer.
Ms Watt, MSP for Aberdeen South & North Kincardine, said: “I was particularly impressed by the high calibre of the young people involved with its Modern Apprenticeship programme, which provides a valuable route into employment.”
Mr Bibby, MSP for West of Scotland, said: “I really enjoyed my tour of ScotRail’s excellent Training Academy in Glasgow. It was a pleasure to meet the dedicated young people who are gaining skills and experience through its Modern Apprenticeship scheme.”
Modern apprentice Sarah Graham, 22, who lives in Barrhead with her partner and two-year-old daughter, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the apprenticeship so far and have high expectations for the end of the programme.
“The apprenticeship is a great way to learn on the job, develop skills and secure a better future for me and my family, particularly during a time when so many young people are unemployed. I have been wearing my uniform with pride.”
Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director of ScotRail, said that nurturing young talent is an excellent way of creating a highly skilled and loyal workforce.
He added: “We are very pleased with the progress of our young recruits, whose enthusiasm and hard work has made a positive impact on the business.
“In return, they are receiving first rate training to equip them with the skills to forge a successful career.”