Network Rail and The Talent Foundry complete pilot scheme to encourage young people into rail industry

Network Rail and The Talent Foundry have completed the initial pilot scheme of the Track to the Future programme, which aims to inspire young people to consider a career in the rail sector.

Four schools took part in the pilot programme: Lord Grey Academy (Bletchley), The Adeyfield Academy (Hemel Hempstead), King Edwards VI Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy (Birmingham), and Harborne Academy (Birmingham) with 80 students participating in total.

Students taking part in the Track to the Future programme gain a unique insight into the work of Network Rail, focusing on either programme management or the technological side of the industry. Mentors from Network Rail support students through four highly interactive and engaging sessions exploring the rail industry. Twenty-one Network Rail members of staff donated 116 hours of volunteering to support the sessions.

Students develop key transferable skills such as innovation and creativity, whilst also learning about key competencies such as accountability, collaboration, and responding to challenging situations. Where possible, students had two of their sessions at Network Rail’s Quadrant office in Milton Keynes or Baskerville House in Birmingham, to gain a unique insight into the workplace in action.

Lydia Fairman, Lead Capability and Development Manager from Network Rail said: “We think the pilot Track to the Future Programme was a great success and it was brilliant to receive such positive feedback from those who took part. The volunteers who worked on the programme were really excited to share their expertise and passion for the sector with the participating students.”

The Talent Foundry is an independent education charity whose mission is to increase social mobility by helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds discover what they are amazing at, develop valuable new employment skills and take the first step into the world of work. Cate Smith, Head of Programmes at The Talent Foundry said: “Everyone at The Talent Foundry was delighted to work with Network Rail on the pilot Track to the Future Programme. We know Network Rail are as passionate as we are about ensuring disadvantaged young people can access a range of opportunities to get them thinking about their future. I hope this programme inspired lots of students to consider a career in the rail sector.”

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