Thursday 12 Jan 2012


Region & Route:
| Eastern

To help young people get their careers on track, more than 25 companies across the rail sector have joined together for the first time to offer up to 100 graduates across Britain a new cross-industry, paid internship.

Network Rail Western today is encouraging graduates in the south west of England to consider this new scheme – Track and Train – to gain an all-round industry experience and get their first step on the career ladder.

According to a survey led by Network Rail, three in four (72%) graduates in the south west of England think that skills and/or work experience relevant to a job are most important to an employer. On average, the same group of graduates interviewed have also applied for at least ten jobs since they left university.

Track and Train, funded by Network Rail, aims to provide local employment opportunities and target young people, who have graduated in the last two years but have found themselves either unemployed or more likely under-employed in a non-graduate level role owing to the tough economic times.

During the 18-month internship, graduates will enjoy three, six-month placements: one at Network Rail and two at either a passenger or freight operator or another company within the rail sector and they will be paid £22,000 per annum. First Great Western is among the train operating companies in the south west of England to participate.

Patrick Hallgate, route managing director for Network Rail Western, said: “We know that there are many smart, talented individuals in the south west of England that haven’t had their break yet and as a growing industry we can work together to provide challenging, valuable and paid work experience to kick start their careers.

“What sets this scheme apart is those involved will work across the rail industry and by linking it all together, develop a fantastic knowledge and understanding of the challenges we all face and the opportunities for the future.”

Mark Hopwood, managing director for First Great Western said: "First Great Western is delighted to participate in this training program and help recent graduates take the first step in their careers. Many of our senior managers have come through similar programs, and there's no limit to what smart, motivated graduates can achieve with First Great Western."

As thousands of young people start 2012 looking for meaningful work, Network Rail surveyed those who have graduated in the last two years and found:

i. 42% of the respondents in the south west of England think that employers are most put off by lack of experience in a job application
ii. Around 57% of the respondents in the south west of England find it hard or sometimes hard to narrow down the job that they are looking for
iii. Around 45% of the respondents in the south west of England are not sure if they have made the right degree choice

Typical roles in Track and Train will be in network operations, station and train teams, customer service, sales and marketing, route strategy, asset management and project management. There will not be roles in corporate functions such as finance, IT or engineering, where the industry has bespoke graduate schemes already in place.

Additional coaching and mentoring classes will be provided at Network Rail’s development centre where those on the scheme will receive advice on how to present a great CV, interview techniques and presentations skills.

The closing date for application is Friday 27th January 2012 at Midday January 2012. Applicants can find out more about this scheme through

Notes to editors

- The university graduates’ survey was conducted for Network Rail by OnePoll - part of the SWNS Group – the UK's largest independent press agency and newswire service. The sample size was 450 people across Britain who have graduated in the last two years, and conducted in December 2011.

- Who is eligible to apply? Anyone who has graduated in the last two years and is not in a graduate level role. This isn’t about someone who has had work, and now found themselves unemployed. We’re trying to give those who have recently graduated a chance to get their first step on the career ladder.

- When will they start?
Applicants need to be available to start on 01 April 2012.

- Is there a guaranteed job at the end?
No but the experience gained will put them in an excellent position to apply for roles on offer within the rail industry or outside it at that time. Employers value candidates that can demonstrate how they have put the skills learnt at university into practice. This scheme will enable them to do this.

- What companies are involved?
Arriva Trains Wales
c2c Rail
Carillion plc
Chiltern Railways
DB Schenker Rail
Department for Transport
East Coast
East Midlands Trains
First Group (First Capital Connect, First Great Western, First Trans Pennine Express, Scotrail,)
Greater Anglia (Abellio)
London Midland
London Overground Rail Operations
London Travelwatch
Network Rail
South West Trains
Transport for London – London Underground

In addition, the Institution of Railway Operators has provided the continuing professional development structure for the interns through use of its Professional Operators Development tool (POD).

Contact information

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03457 11 41 41

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Network Rail press office -Western route
07730 354394

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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