Great Western Railway (GWR) and Exeter College are celebrating the first anniversary of their Apprenticeship Partnership.
If you are one of the millions of passengers travelling with Great Western Railway (GWR) between Penzance and London Paddington each year you may very well come across one of GWR’s Apprentices studying with Exeter College, providing assistance with tickets, manning the gate line or serving on-board refreshments. Other Apprentices are working hard behind the scenes at GWR stations and depots, being guided to be the managers and engineers of the future.
Ofsted Outstanding Exeter College is the single source of Apprenticeship training for GWR. Under the programme, Apprentices across the South West, from Cornwall to Reading, are being trained as they earn.
Speaking about the success of the partnership, Joe Graham, Business Assurance Director, Great Western Railway (GWR), said: “GWR invests heavily in training for all staff, including our Apprentices. We expect our teams to deliver excellent customer service and, in return we expect this from our partners. Exeter College are an outstanding provider and it is an exciting development for us to be partnered with them for our Apprenticeship training.”
Rob Bosworth, Vice Principal at Exeter College said: “The opportunities that GWR affords its Apprentices are second to none. We are delighted to be partnered with them to deliver the new Passenger Transport Apprenticeships which will enable GWR apprentices to gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by the industry and meet the standards.”
Mike Blakeley, Director Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement at Exeter College added: “The College has successfully adapted its traditional delivery model in order to become more agile and flexible – delivering a wide range of Apprenticeships of the highest quality standard across multiple sites. Working from Paddington to Penzance is an exciting development for us.”
The impact on the lives of young people on the GWR Apprenticeship programme cannot be underestimated.
As Thomas Hicks, Operations Apprentice, from Cornwall said: “After sixth form I wasn't too sure about what I wanted to do in terms of my future. I started working for GWR as a part time station assistant at Newquay station. My manager encouraged me to apply for a position on GWR’s Operations Apprenticeship Scheme.
Now I am on an 18-month programme with GWR and have never looked back. The programme has enabled me to learn all about customer service both on trains and at the station – from serving on-board refreshments through to checking tickets at the gate line. My future ambition is to go onto becoming a Train Manager.”
He added: “Being an Apprentice has opened up new opportunities for me and I am on track for a successful and rewarding career on the railway.”
For further information about Apprenticeships contact Jenny Vince Apprenticeship Partnership and Development Manager at Exeter College 01392 400800 or email [email protected]