Network Rail and The Talent Foundry inspire young people to pursue rail careers

Network Rail and charity ‘The Talent Foundry’ have developed a pilot scheme designed to inspire young people to pursue careers in the rail industry.

The programme, called “Track to the Future”, aims to inspire young people to consider a career in the railway sector. Eighty pupils from four schools took part in the pilot programme: Lord Gray Academy in Bletchley, The Adeyfield Academy in Hemel Hempstead, King Edwards VI Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy in Birmingham and Harborne Academy in Birmingham.

The Talent Foundry is an independent educational charity whose mission is to increase social mobility by helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds discover what they do best, develop valuable new job skills and make the first step into the world of work. Schools can find out if they are eligible for The Talent Foundry programs by emailing [email protected]

Students got a taste of working for Network Rail, focusing on either program management or the technology side of the industry. Network Rail mentors supported students through four highly interactive and engaging sessions that explored the rail industry. 21 Network Rail staff donated 116 volunteer hours to support the sessions.

The program helped students develop key transferable skills, such as innovation and creativity, while learning key skills, such as responsibility, collaboration, and responding to difficult situations. Where possible, students had two of their sessions at Network Rail’s Quadrant office in Milton Keynes or Baskerville House in Birmingham, where they got a glimpse of the workplace in action.

Lydia Fairman, Network Rail’s Lead Capability and Development Manager, said: “We think the Track to the Future pilot program has been a great success and it was great to receive such positive feedback from those involved. participated. The volunteers who worked on the program were really happy to share their expertise and passion for the sector with the participating students.

Cate Smith, Head of Programs at The Talent Foundry, said: “Everyone at The Talent Foundry was delighted to be working with Network Rail on the Track to the Future pilot programme. We know Network Rail is as passionate as we are to ensure disadvantaged young people can access a range of opportunities to get them thinking about their future. I hope this program has inspired many students to consider a career in the railway industry.

Quotes from participating students:

  • “I think this program really made me think about what I want to do in the future and I realized that there was a need for ethnic women to be represented at the highest levels of business. “
  • “We were shown the executive room, where the directors sat and discussed projects and results. One of the students said, “Save me a seat, I’ll come back here later.”
  • “I rated the workshop as excellent as I learned and honed many skills that will help me in the future, such as an increase in my confidence to speak in front of an audience.”
  • “Now that I have completed the programme, I see Network Rail as a very open environment, diverse in terms of people and work.”

Quotes from Network Rail volunteers:

  • “Brilliant use of a morning. A chance to remember why we work here and what is really important.
  • “The Talent Foundry facilitator and Network Rail planning staff made this a very professional and very rewarding session.”
  • “A fantastic idea for an event and a great opportunity for teenagers to be exposed to project management as a career, explore a professional office and gain relevant experience. Really rewarding to talk to teenagers and see so many of them take an interest in project management as a career. »
  • “Keep up the good work! I’m a big fan of what TTF does and we’ve needed it in our workplace for some time.

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