Rail operator Southeastern is on the hunt for school leavers who have just passed their exams to join the company as apprentices.
Young recruits for its Passenger Services Apprenticeship Scheme, now in its fourth year, will learn how to dispatch trains, work at gate lines and man the ticket offices.
The 12-month programme is open to 16 to 19-year-olds and also includes the chance to use state-of-the-art train driving simulators at Ashford.
This is followed by on-the-job training, where they are mentored by a duty station manager, shadowing station staff and seeing all aspects of station life.
Graduates of the scheme earn a Level 2 NVQ qualification in customer services.
Charles White, 19, is working as an apprentice platform employee at Ashford International Station, having left John Wallis Academy after sixth form and joined the apprenticeship programme.
He said: “The scheme has taught me so much and has helped me grow as a person.
“Now I am more confident when talking to people because of my experience working closely with passengers to help and give advice.
“It’s a great apprenticeship scheme because you get to learn three different job roles in the year whilst you are with the company.
“It’s one of the best things I have ever done.”
Southeastern is one of the largest employers in Kent, with more than 4,000 staff.
The company has recruited 45 apprentices since October 2010, 41 of which are still full-time employees. It also offers apprenticeship schemes in business, customer services, train movements and engineering.
Southeastern passenger services director Barbara Thomas said: “We’re committed to providing young people with the opportunity to learn and grow a career with us.
“Having introduced the scheme, I can wholeheartedly say what a fantastic opportunity this apprenticeship is for young people.
“I started my career in the ticket office and am now the passenger services director, a job which I find hugely rewarding.
“The decision to apply could genuinely be the start of an amazing adventure and we encourage all to get in touch with us.”
“I started my career in the ticket office and am now the passenger services director, a job which I find hugely rewarding…” – Barbara Thomas, Southeastern
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