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Young Rail Professionals: promoting diversity and inclusion

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Bonnie Price, CEO of Young Rail Professionals (YRP), returns to give you its latest news and activities.

Welcome to the latest update from the YRP – we have a lot of news to fit in!

First off, Young Rail Tours, an initiative delivered by YRP, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Simon Kendler as its new manager. With plenty of experience in the rail industry and a passion for creating unique travel experiences, Simon is set to lead Young Rail Tours into an exciting new chapter.

One of the first tours under Simon’s leadership is the upcoming France trip scheduled for Q3 of the 2024/25 fiscal year. This will offer young rail enthusiasts the opportunity to explore the picturesque landscapes and rich cultural heritage of France through a series of curated experiences and industry exclusive tours. From scenic train rides through the French countryside to visits to iconic landmarks and local attractions, the France trip promises to be a memorable and enriching journey for all participants.

Simon Kendler. Credit: YRP.

To ensure that interested individuals have the chance to secure a spot on the trip, Young Rail Tours is assigning places by ballot. By signing up for socials on the Young Rail Professionals website, participants will receive timely updates and notifications about the trip, including details on how to enter the ballot for a chance to join the tour. This streamlined approach aims to make the registration process more accessible and convenient for young rail professionals looking to embark on the next stop of this exciting adventure.

As Young Rail Tours continues to expand its offerings and reach a wider audience of young rail professionals, the appointment of Simon Kendler as manager signals a new era of innovation and growth for the initiative. With his leadership and vision, Young Rail Tours is poised to deliver exceptional travel experiences that inspire and educate the next generation of rail professionals.

Stay tuned for more updates and announcements from Young Rail Tours as we embark on this exciting journey together. Sign up for socials today and be part of the adventure! If you think you could help Young Rail Professionals with hosting tours outside of the UK, don’t hesitate to get in touch at: [email protected]

A new way of operating
The UK rail industry is undergoing a transformation, with a focus on promoting diversity and inclusion to foster a more innovative and dynamic sector. Young Rail Professionals is at the forefront of this movement, driving change and pushing for a more inclusive workforce. We’ve started this by comparing ourselves to the stats coming out from The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR).

We have also been in discussion with a number of our corporate members and industry partners about how to keep moving forwards. Our CEO/board report to the advisory board once per quarter. In these meetings, we cover membership percentage increases across a wide spectrum of intersectional metrics. The aim for our senior leadership is to build upon the momentum YRP has generated to ensure it is an open and welcoming space.

YRP is actively working to create a more diverse and inclusive industry. Within our leadership we hold elections each year. There’s only one qualifying factor to run in the regional and national elections – you must be a committee member within one of the follow committees:

• Regional (there are eight regions within YRP-UK).
• Initiatives (Rail Week, EDI, INTOrail, Young Rail Tours, Annual dinner, etc.).
• National executive committee.

Just head over to our website to join up – it’s entirely free!

We are seeking to always outpace industry diversity statistics/metrics across all levels. Our aim is true inclusion, based on intersectionality. It isn’t about ‘ticking boxes’, it is about creating the space where everyone feels welcome, valued, respected and heard. We at YRP have come a long way in this space – but there is still work to be done. If you have opinions on this topic, we would love to hear from you! ([email protected])

Ultimately, promoting diversity and inclusion in the rail industry is not only a moral imperative but also a smart business decision. By attracting and retaining young professionals from all backgrounds, the industry can thrive and adapt to the challenges of the future.

Looking to Scotland
Our chief operating officer, Agata Wesek, is currently re-establishing the Scottish region of YRP, and is chairing the region on an interim basis while the committee finds its feet. Being a YRP member can be highly beneficial for individuals starting their careers in the rail industry in Scotland. YRP provides a platform for young professionals to network, access industry insights, and develop their skills through various events, workshops, and mentoring opportunities. By joining YRP, individuals can connect with other like-minded young people, industry experts, and potential mentors, which can help them expand their professional network and gain valuable insights into the rail sector.

In addition to the benefits of being a member of YRP, joining the YRP committee in Scotland can further enhance your career prospects. Serving on the committee allows individuals to take on leadership roles, contribute to the strategic direction of the organisation, and gain valuable experience. By actively participating in the committee, individuals can demonstrate their commitment to the industry, showcase their leadership skills, and build a strong professional reputation within the rail community. It is a great way to gain skills that your employer may not be able to provide you with.

Furthermore, being part of the YRP committee in Scotland provides opportunities for personal and professional growth, as members can engage in industry advocacy, professional development initiatives, and community outreach programs. By actively engaging with industry stakeholders and participating in committee activities, individuals can enhance their visibility within the industry, develop new skills, and position themselves for future career advancement opportunities.

Edinburgh. Credit: iStockphoto.com

The region is currently looking to fill the following positions (among other): regional treasurer; external relations; INTOrail lead; Rail Week lead; and networking and professional development lead.

These roles offer a plethora of opportunities to try out different career paths in a safe environment. I have often said that YRP is a safe place to fail. You can take on roles entirely outside of your comfort zone and experience. And the the result? Either you grow as a person, gaining new abilities – or you pull together as a committee to deliver the YRP mission.

If you would like to join the committee, host some events in the Glasgow/Edinburgh area, or are a company that would like to support the Scottish regions development, please email [email protected]

And finally, an exclusive!
Get ready for an unforgettable evening of celebration and recognition at the highly anticipated YRP Annual Dinner and Awards Event!

This year, we are taking our prestigious event to new heights as we mark a historic milestone in YRP’s journey. Join us in Cardiff, Wales, at the luxurious Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel & Spa for an evening filled with glamour, excitement, and inspiration.

For the first time ever, YRP is bringing the magic of our annual dinner beyond England, showcasing our growth and commitment to excellence. Be a part of this momentous occasion as we honour the outstanding achievements of young professionals in the rail sector and celebrate YRP’s 15th year anniversary in style.

Whether you’re interested in purchasing a table or nominating a deserving individual for an award, reach out to our dedicated team at [email protected] to secure your spot at the most prestigious event in the industry

Lead image: istockphoto.com