National rail contractor, QTS Group, has announced the launch of a graduate scheme to help develop talent within rail construction and position the industry as an attractive career choice for young people.
The company rolled out a pilot scheme in 2021 and is now recruiting aspiring graduates to join the programme across several of its UK offices, including South Lanarkshire in Scotland and Linby in Nottingham.
As part of the scheme, graduates will conduct placements in various departments in both operational and support functions before settling in a permanent position once the scheme ends.
There are different options available; one for business graduates, which involves placements across all aspects of the company, and programmes in role specific divisions for those with relevant degrees, such as civil engineering, or quantity surveying.
Business Graduate, Gregg Ballantyne, is nine months into his initial year of the three year programme. Conducting his first placement in the Civil Engineering division in Scotland, Greg has also joined the Civils Asset Maintenance team in Penrith and is currently with the Vegetation Management division, also in Scotland.
The rollout of the programme forms part of QTS Group’s wider plans to encourage more young people to join the industry, while combating the talent vacuum that has emerged over in recent years.
Lorna Gibson, Training Director at QTS Group said: “It has been a challenging few years for the rail industry, with the repercussions of Brexit, Covid and limited awareness of the industry causing a shortage of skills. There is a wealth of employment opportunities from construction and engineering to office-based work available and at QTS we are passionate about encouraging younger people to get involved in what we know can lead to an exciting and rewarding career.
“Through our graduate programme we hope to attract and nurture the best talent, particularly women who are currently under-represented within our industry. We endeavour to lead the way when it comes to advancing the education, training, and skills of all of our employees and are confident that anyone who joins our scheme will discover that a career in the rail industry is a positive and progressive option.”
Greg Ballantyne, QTS Graduate, said: “Since joining the QTS grad scheme in July 2021, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time in a number of different departments which has given me a great idea of the breadth and variety of work within the rail industry, as well as valuable knowledge of how a company like QTS operates.
“I have enjoyed spending time both on site and in the office and taking part in many training programmes. Everyone at QTS has been extremely friendly and welcoming and taken time out of their busy schedules to support my learning.
“I’m so grateful to QTS for the opportunity and aspire to progress my career here using the experience I’ve gained, hopefully becoming a site manager or head of department.”
Further reinforcing its commitment, QTS recently signed up to the Government’s Kickstart Scheme, which provides funding to enable businesses to offer work experience and tackle unemployment. The company secured Government funding for 20 placements and now has a number of young people undertaking a variety of 6 month placements throughout the UK.
QTS is continually looking to recruit people who share its values of quality, innovation, collaboration, integrity and responsibility. Vacancies and details of how to apply for a position can be found at: https://www.qtsgroup.com/work-with-us/recruitment.