London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is delivering record investment in supporting aspiration in communities up and down its route, with new projects set to benefit more than 11,000 children and young people over the next 18 months.

This month, LNER is inviting applications from young people aged between 14 and 18 in Years 10-13 along the East Coast route to join its pioneering Tomorrow’s Talent experience, delivered in partnership with Springpod, which is all about inspiring young people about the world of work, as well as launching its next round of community investment projects.

Tomorrow’s Talent, starting on 25 October, will showcase the different careers available in rail to inspire the next generation. Participants will complete several modules on topics such as the growing use of technology and the importance of marketing within the rail industry.

The programme focuses on improving eight essential skills: problem solving, creativity, listening, speaking, staying positive, aiming high, leadership and teamwork. As part of Tomorrow’s Talent, participants will take part in quizzes, exercises and join live webinars with LNER colleagues who will share their expertise and insight.

As part of the Responsible Business Strategy, LNER is also using the latest round of its Customer and Community Investment Fund (CCIF), worth £500,000 each year, to support more projects focused on boosting education and employability skills in communities along the East Coast route, after receiving a record number of applications and support from customers for projects championing this cause.

The fund helps customers and communities along the LNER route to undertake projects and initiatives that will help address a local issue, create opportunities to develop new skills, promote positive mental health and delivers educational or environmental benefits.

One of the organisations benefitting from LNER’s investment is the Skills Builder Partnership, which aims to transform how more than 7,000 students along the East Coast route are supported to build the skills they need to thrive in education, employment and their wider lives. Utilising their expertise, LNER is working with Skills Builder Partnership to offer the Tomorrow’s Talent programme.

David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “Education and employability are important to LNER and the communities we serve, and we want to do all that we can to encourage the next generation, regardless of where their career takes them.

“LNER’s Tomorrow’s Talent and the community projects we are supporting provide a fantastic opportunity for young people in their career development. As a modern business and inclusive employer, with a focus on the long term, we are determined to share what we do to inspire others.”

Rosa Morgan-Baker, Director of Development at the Skills Builder Partnership, said: “Skills Builder Partnership is delighted to join forces with LNER to deliver the Tomorrow’s Talent programme and help young people develop essential employability skills.

“LNER’s wider support for our work will enable 30 schools to complete our Skills Builder Accelerator programme which aims to equips schools with the strategic support, teacher training and teaching resources to ensure skills like Teamwork can be taught with the same rigor as English or Maths.”

The application window for Tomorrow’s Talent closes on the 19th October. Anyone interested in attending the programme is encouraged to visit www.springpod.com/virtual-work-experience/lner- tomorrows-talent where they can find further information and submit their application.

Photo credit: LNER

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