A pioneering ScotRail initiative to develop young talent in partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (also referred to as The International Award for Young People) has scooped the Best Business Newcomer title at the Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Awards 2011.
The prestigious award follows ScotRail last year launching the UK rail industry’s first Modern Apprenticeship in Customer Service. During 18-month apprenticeships, the 11 Modern Apprentices are each trained, paid and given six-month placements in hands-on roles in ScotRail’s station, on-trains and hospitality departments while developing their skills, confidence and personal talents by doing their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award integrated into their training.
The apprentices, aged between 18 and 22, can gain recognition of their efforts by working towards a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Customer Service. The programme’s success has led to enquiries from other UK train operating companies interested in launching similar programmes.
The £250,000 initiative is designed to both boost business and provide opportunities for young people to enter the challenging jobs market. Humza Yousaf, SNP MSP for Glasgow, has praised ScotRail for using the Modern Apprenticeships scheme to ‘guide young people toward gainful employment.’ In a Scottish Parliament motion, Mr Yousaf said:
“The Parliament congratulates ScotRail on its modern apprenticeship scheme winning, what it considers to be, the prestigious, Best Business Newcomer title.”
ScotRail is a Partner with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and has committed to recruiting Modern Apprentices for Customer Service on a regular basis, with an intake planned every 18 months in future. The 10th annual Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Awards 2011, run by Skills Development Scotland, were held at the Glasgow Science Centre.