12 young people have become the first to join Network Rail under the government’s kickstart scheme, working across all areas of the business – including HR, communications, finance and project management
The ‘kickstarters’ will be developing their skills and gaining valuable experience while playing their part in delivering a safe and reliable railway for passengers and freight users.
While all employers participating in the scheme can apply for funding to cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage, or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant, Network Rail is voluntarily going further by paying its Kickstarters in line with the Living Wage Foundation.
Network Rail’s aim is to take on at least 100 Kickstarters in total
Skills Builder Partnership has agreed to provide employability training and resources for applicants as part of the programme.
The training will be underpinned by Skills Builder Framework, which breaks down progression of eight essential skills, including teamwork, creativity and problem solving, into 16 skills steps.
Every Kickstarter will benefit from 10 90-minute training sessions over the course of their placement and will be able to log and track their progress using an online platform.
Following successful completion of the Skills Builder learning log, they will receive an accredited certificate allowing them to demonstrate their skills and accomplishments to potential future employers.
Push to ‘build back better’
Minister for employment, Mims Davies, said: “It’s fantastic to see Network Rail brilliantly backing the government’s Kickstart scheme – helping our next generation of workers to really get back on track and develop the key skills they need to thrive in work.
“This is still a challenging time, but right across the country our Plan for Jobs is creating opportunity, supporting people to retrain and getting jobseekers into work as we push to build back better – including in the rail sector.”
Rosa Morgan-Baker, director of development at Skills Builder Partnership, added: “We’re proud to be working together with Network Rail to ensure Kickstart participants leave the scheme equipped with not only valuable insights and experiences, but also highly transferable, essential skills to support their future progression.
“There is growing evidence linking higher levels of the essential skills with better career outcomes, higher wages and higher levels of wellbeing.
“The Skills Builder Partnership brings together employers, educators and non-profits to establish a common language and a shared outcomes framework to help young people identify, develop and articulate these essential skills in a robust and consistent way.
“We are thrilled to be working closely with Network Rail towards this ambitious vision.”