Thanks to funding from Cumbria Community Foundation’s Cumbria Fund, pupils from Samuel Kings School Alston have spent an exciting week undergoing employability training by becoming members of South Tynedale Railway’s ‘Strivers’ youth team. To join the Strivers, the young people had to complete an application form and attend a formal interview.
As volunteer education officer Professor Martin Ashley says, ‘The Strivers scheme is carefully designed to mirror the job application process, giving students experience of writing an application and a CV, attending for interview and then experiencing the world of work through a week’s experience in the different departments of the South Tynedale Railway’.
Strivers which stands for ‘South Tynedale Railway Inclusive Venture for the Education of Railway Staff’ follow a carefully structured programme and students are assessed against a set of competencies again mirroring the probation period of any employment. The scheme focusses on addressing some of the issues which employers often complain about in young employees, issues such as reliability, enthusiasm, loyalty, responsibility and a good work ethic to name but a few.
As well as learning about signaling, customer service and acting as a trainee guard the young people were also awarded their level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene certificate, Personal Track Safety certificate and acted as tour guides for year 7 pupils who visited the railway on an educational trip.
Professor Ashley said, ‘We’ve had a fantastic week working with these young people. They have shown commitment and enthusiasm and we have invited them to formally join our youth volunteering team as a result of their hard work during their work experience week.’
Anyone between the ages of 11 and 18 can apply to join the Strivers so if you know of someone with an interest in engineering, business, catering or railway operations South Tynedale Railway would love to hear from you. The railway would also be interested in hearing from any schools who may want to offer a work experience week to pupils in 2019.
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