A group of young people have completed a traineeship with Virgin Trains in partnership with Solihull College and now have the opportunity to work for the large travel company.
The group completed their 10 week work based programme where they demonstrated excellent commitment and were able to develop their knowledge and employability skills. All of the individuals worked in train stations across the region including Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton train station, the students attended Solihull College for 2 days per week to gain their qualifications in employability skills, customer service and maths and english.
At Solihull College the students were able to develop their CV writing, time management and interview skills as well as focusing on business awareness and customer expectations. With the help of the tutors at Solihull College, the trainee’s confidence increased greatly as some individuals who were initially worried about public speaking and presentations were able to give a presentation in front of a group at the end of the course, without a worry.
Whilst working at each train station the individuals were able to work alongside a mentor from Virgin Trains to learn from their experiences and have support from where needed. The jobs taken on by the trainees included welcoming customers on the train platforms, assisting disabled passengers on and off trains and assisting customers with any queries. It was clear to see that all involved benefitted greatly from the experience as Ben Egan, who was based at Wolverhampton train station, stated “My confidence has improved and it was great to see the behind the scenes at Virgin Trains. I will never be able to get on a train in the same way again!” Neelam Parvaiz who was based at Birmingham New Street Station, added “I really surprised myself and I learnt a lot. It was a really good opportunity.”
Virgin Trains mentor Sue Adams spoke of the individuals’ efforts throughout the 10 week programme “All of the trainees were polite, courteous and excellent time keepers. They were able to gain an insight into life on the railway and they rose to the challenge; we look forward to working with Solihull College again.”
The group were invited to an awards morning at Solihull College to be presented with their qualifications and celebrate their successes, along with representatives from Virgin Trains. Many of the trainees impressed Virgin Trains so much that they could be presented with the opportunity for permanent positions or apprenticeships with the company.
Solihull College hopes to continue the excellent partnership formed with Virgin Trains and continue to offer the traineeship to students. For more information on the traineeships available visit www.solihull.ac.uk or call 0121 678 7000.