Using the Kickstart Scheme, London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) is providing six month placements for young people.

The scheme is backed by the Department for Work and Pensions and encourages businesses to offer 16 to 24-year-olds, who are in receipt of Universal Credit and who are at risk of long term unemployment, the first step on a career ladder.

Since March LNER has welcomed 14 young people to a variety of roles from engineering to marketing. The company is offering a development programme specially devised to offer them skills development and new experiences. Each one of the trainees has their own development plan.

Sophie Partington, who joined LNER on the Kickstart scheme in March, said: “I graduated from university last year and have found it to be a struggle to gain a meaningful job without prior experience. I am therefore really excited about my placement with LNER and look forward to gaining new skills and experience that will help me in my future career.”

“I was originally a bit anxious after a year spent largely at home, but I’ve been given a really warm welcome and already feel part of the team.”

In January, LNER was awarded ‘UK Top Employer’ status by the Top Employers Institute for the second year running, making the opportunity to experience the world of work with them all the more valuable due to their focus on employee development and commitment to health and wellbeing.

Craig Laughton, Head of Learning Experience at LNER, said: “The last year has been an incredibly challenging time for young people who are just starting out in the world of work. We therefore jumped at the chance to create opportunities as part of the Kickstart scheme, introducing young people to the wide variety of different professions in the rail industry and providing them with new experience and skills that will aid them in their future career.

“We also hope that the scheme will help create a talent pipeline of young people who may not have previously considered the opportunities that our industry has to offer, so we will be working hard to ensure that they are passionate advocates for rail!”

The company is now looking for the next set of recruits who will start later in the year. If anyone is interested in the Kickstart scheme then they should contact their Jobcentre Plus Work Coach.