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Heathrow Express signs up to cross-industry graduate scheme


Heathrow Express is taking part in a rail-industry paid work placement scheme launched in April 2012, called Track and Train.

The scheme, set up by Network Rail, will provide all-round industry experience for 18 months to over 80 recent graduates.

Showcasing the diversity of opportunities within a growing and dynamic rail industry, Track and Train is designed to help graduates who haven't yet managed to get on the career ladder and will offer valuable hands on experience for their careers.

Welcomed onto Track and Train by Transport Secretary, Justine Greening MP, 85 graduates from across Britain started at Network Rail's training and development centre near Coventry last month. Two of these graduates have started placements at Heathrow Express and will be line managed by Chris Scott, academy lead at Heathrow Express.

They will work across all areas of the business for their first month in order to gain an overall understanding and knowledge of Heathrow Express, before moving to a more specialist area for the rest of their placement.

Patrick Butcher, Network Rail's group finance director, responsible for the scheme, said: "We're working hard to attract talented people to our growing industry. It is a high-tech, customer-focused sector undergoing huge change as we rise to the challenges of meeting growing numbers of users and improving our infrastructure and service. Those beginning their careers here will gain an unparalleled experience, developing a fantastic knowledge and understanding of the challenges everyone in the industry faces and have a wonderful range of the opportunities to contribute to the shaping the future. I wish them all every success."

Funded by Network Rail, the scheme involves 28 partner companies based across Britain providing local employment opportunities - i.e. those living in Glasgow, York or Manchester, for example, will be placed at companies in those areas. Network Rail received 2514 applications. Typical roles in Track and Train will be in network operations, station and train teams, customer service, sales and marketing, route strategy, asset management and project management. There will not be roles in corporate functions such as finance, IT or engineering, where the industry has bespoke graduate schemes already in place. Additional coaching and mentoring classes will be provided at Network Rail's development centre where those on the scheme will receive advice on how to present a great CV, interview techniques and presentations skills.