Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire praised ScotRail’s award-winning modern apprenticeship scheme after meeting the train operator’s latest recruits at an event earlier this week.
Jo had the chance to speak to a number of the apprentices – including Ashleigh Smart, from Bishopbriggs – at a reception held by the train operator at Westminster.
Ashleigh is among 14 apprentices aged from 16 to 24 when they joined the ScotRail scheme a year ago. The train operator’s Modern Apprenticeships in Customer Service – the first of its kind in the British rail industry – sets a fine example by boosting youth skills and employment. It offers valuable experience in key frontline customer service roles including on-train, station staff and hospitality – and the prospect of a full-time career with ScotRail.
The apprentices will achieve an SVQ Level 2 in Customer Service – and also have the opportunity to undertake a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
Ashleigh, now 20, was a nursery nurse in the run up to the apprenticeship. She said: “I’m always looking for new challenges and love working with people, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn more about customer service. I’m really enjoying it.”
Commenting, Jo said:
“I was delighted to meet Ashleigh and hear about this excellent programme. The apprentices are being offered a valuable opportunity to improve their skills – and their employability.”
Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, said:
“The modern apprenticeship programme is an excellent way of nurturing young talent in order to create a highly skilled and loyal workforce. The group will face many challenges during the apprenticeship and in return will receive first rate training and mentoring to develop their confidence and equip them with the skills to forge a successful career.”
Ashleigh Smart and Jo Swinson at the event
ScotRail is being supported in delivering the apprenticeship programme by Skills Development Scotland.
For further information on the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme visit www.DofE.org.