Despite challenges in the industry, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has continued to upskill and harness its workforce over the last year with a varied programme of apprenticeships. Since the introduction of the government’s apprenticeship levy in 2017, more than 400 employees have benefitted from training at GTR, with an additional 500 people continuing to study.
For 2023, the rail operator has set itself a target of 220 employees starting an apprenticeship, which is a 20 per cent increase on the number of those who started an apprenticeship with the company last year.
Open to current and new employees, the apprenticeships on offer range from train driving and customer service, to engineering, management and leadership skills. Last year also saw the addition of two new courses in response to needs from the business and employee feedback.
Passenger Transport Operative and Learning and Development Practitioner programmes have been added to the portfolio, which now boasts a total of 12 different apprenticeships that railway colleagues can take advantage of.
As well as a new target for 2023, this year marks a milestone moment for the operator, as it sees the 100th employee start its train driver apprenticeship. Although there has been well over that figure coming through the programme in total, since becoming an employment provider of apprenticeships in March 2020, GTR is now able to run the training in-house and tailored to its staff.
Continuing a trend seen over the last five years, an impressive 42% of those starting an apprenticeship in 2022 were aged between 31 and 40, bucking the perception that apprenticeships are a younger person’s game. In addition, a third identified as Black and Minority Ethnic, which GTR hopes will continue to increase as the company works to diversify its workforce to reflect the communities it serves.
Image credit: GTR