ScotRail’s first-ever group of Modern Apprentices in Customer Service have graduated under a pioneering initiative to develop young talent. More than 35 guests – including Angela Constance, Minister for Youth Employment, gathered at Glasgow’s Grand Central hotel today (30 August) for the graduation ceremony.
The 18-month-long scheme - a UK rail industry first - saw 11 apprentices aged between 18 and 22, trained, paid and given placements in hands-on roles at ScotRail’s stations or on trains as well as hospitality departments.
Each achieved a Level 2 Scottish Vocational Qualification in Customer Service as well as a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, said: “We are extremely proud of our apprentices. They have put in a great deal of work over the last year-and-a-half, overcome a number of challenges, and got the most out of the experience.
“The programme has been a great success and will continue with a new group of 15 apprentices later in the year.”
Angela Constance, Minister for Youth Employment, said: “A Modern Apprenticeship involves taking up employment, and at the same time learning new skills and enjoying new experiences. The value to a company of taking on an enthusiastic apprentice cannot be understated.
“Customer service means being the public face of any company, a position that carries great responsibility. Today’s graduates have clearly demonstrated that they are up to the task and I would like to wish them the very best of success for the future.”
Four of the apprentices already have full-time positions at ScotRail stations, a fifth has started work on a graduate trainee programme with FirstGroup, the train operator’s parent company, and the others are applying for full-time roles with ScotRail.
Since launched, the scheme has gained cross-party support and has also seen ScotRail pick up Best Newcomer at the 2011 Scottish Apprenticeship Awards.