Rail/Transport Graduate Schemes

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by 350401, 27 Oct 2011.

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  1. 350401

    350401 Member

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    Hi All,

    I've finally had the bright idea of combining my interest in trains and the UK railway with a career. As a Graduate, obviously formal Graduate Schemes are the first port of call, but as far as I am aware, there are only 3 schemes in existence - TFL, Arriva and Network Rail. Are there any other schemes than these available? I've not been able to find any schemes for any TOC other than Arriva - I've checked the Stagecoach site, but it only seems to be for buses, and Govia and First don't seem to have anything. In terms of non-grad scheme jobs, what is the best starting point for someone like myself with no industry experience?

    Any advice that forumers could give me would be greatly appreciated. I'm keen to get working asap. In terms of personal profile, I'm a 24yo Grad - Good A Levels, 2.1 Oxbridge, did law conversion, a years work experience in law, also got a bit of work experience in retail and pubs. I'm obviously expecting Q's on why I'm packing in law - honest answer is that after a years working in the sector, I've concluded its not for me.

    Cheers guys :)
     
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  3. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

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    DB Schenker did have such a scheme last year, I should know I applied for it sadly I wasnt sucessful unlike 1 of my classmates who was.

    Not sure if they have a scheme this year though?
     
  4. Eng274

    Eng274 Member

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    First run a graduate scheme for various functions of the business (engineering, operations, hr etc - bus and rail). The recruitment process for next years intake should start around march, if you look on first's website you should find the graduate scheme page.

    Competition is stiff though- this year there were 750 applications for 16 jobs..
     
  5. E&W Lucas

    E&W Lucas Established Member

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    What is it that you actually want?
    Do you want to work in a railway environment, doing a railway job, or do you want a management role?
    The aspects of the various graduate schemes that you will be eligible for, will be remote from Sharp end railway work. Most operations management posts require you to have practical experience of the role that you are managing.

    Be clear what it is that you seeking. (from another graduate, and graduate scheme veteran, who is very happy driving trains).
     
  6. Eng274

    Eng274 Member

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    Generally most graduate schemes are accredited by a professional institution, i.e. My training scheme is accredited by imeche, rail ops should be accredited by various other organisations. I'm not sure but accreditation may be a mandatory to ensure the quality of graduate training is up to scratch.

    The point of the training schemes is to give the trainee (who is generally new to the industry) a chance to see all the various departments and how they work together to run the railway.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 27 Oct 2011
  7. 142094

    142094 Established Member

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    From your experience you'll probably have the best chance of going for either a commercial, contracts, property or legal services role. A lot of people forget that it isn't just about railways, but companies like Network Rail are big landowners and landlords.
     
  8. 350401

    350401 Member

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    Thanks for the replies, most informative :) In terms of what I'm looking for, its probably the business side and general management - e.g. for Network Rail, I'll be applying for their project management stream, and for XC I'm going for their General Management stream. That said, I'm not 100% sure where I'd want to end up long term, and a scheme that gave me a broad overview of the different aspects of the industry would be fantastic.
     
  9. 142094

    142094 Established Member

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    Only problem I can see is that for some of the other schemes, you'll have a lot of competition from those who have done specific courses related to those jobs, such as transport planners, civil engineers etc. But then again sometimes it doesn't matter what degree you have done, just about what experience you can bring to the job.
     
  10. 350401

    350401 Member

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    Thanks. Just one last Q - looking at the Network Rail Scheme - which of the following do forumers think could be best with my CV - i) Project Management ii) Operations Management or iii) Contracts and Procurement? My hunch is Contracts, given my legal background?
     
  11. E&W Lucas

    E&W Lucas Established Member

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    congratulations, you've just given more ammunition to those that slag off graduates.

    Read what people put. For operations roles, most jobs require you to be qualified to do the job itself. Driver, guard, signalled managers, etc. There is a limit to what a graduate scheme manager could do in the rail industry. The op mentioned being an enthusiast; if he wanted to work with Sharp end matters, he needed to know that.

    I am not anti graduate by any means. I completed the graduate scheme for a household name company, and worked in an operational management role with them for several years, before succumbing to the lure of train driving.
     
  12. 142094

    142094 Established Member

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    Contracts definitely. For Project Management do they not ask for Civil engineering graduates (can't remember)?
     
  13. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    I know the attitude of the guys who recruit for Network Rail (As I was speaking to a number of them last week) favour graduates with practical skills, not raw accademics, hence the lower than usual entry standards.

    PS: On a slightly self centred note, I post a thread asking about graduate schemes, no replies, somone else does... 12... (It doesn't say graduate scheme in the title)
     
  14. 350401

    350401 Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I totally understand Network Rails attitude, I just hope that I can show them that someone can have both academics and practical skills. I figured that practicality is important in the rail industry, and that a Grad with no practical rail experience will have a harder time getting in, however, given my career will last 40+yrs, I should do something I find interesting - and what better way to ensure that than combine my hobby with a career? :)
     
  15. Eng274

    Eng274 Member

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    If i had something worth adding that i hadn't already mentioned through PM i'd have responded.. It was slightly different for me as i didn't apply through ATOC.
     
  16. FManc

    FManc Member

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    I recieved an email earlier from Arriva informing me that my application for General Management at Cross Country Trains has been successful. I've just got to wait to hear back again about the next stage in the recruitment process. Excited :D.
     
  17. Simon11

    Simon11 Member Jobs & Careers Assistant

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    Well Done FManc, however lots more work to do!

    I think what is worth reminding is that competition for these graduate places are fierce. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and just feel really dishearten if you get turned down.

    Do look out of the box and check each TOC career page regularly.

    I got my job through a normal job route, but I've still applied again for the graduate schemes this year again. I'm hoping with one, with an additional year in the rail commercial side, I should just nab a place on the scheme.
     
  18. FManc

    FManc Member

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    Ah don't worry I understand how competitive graduate schemes are. :)
    I've applied to a range of places, degree related as well as transport related. I'm currently working for a TOC, so I'm hoping that works in my favour. TBH I'm gutted that the TOC I currently work for don't offer any graduate schemes, but oh well.
     
  19. 350401

    350401 Member

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    FManc - without sounding too cheeky, what do you do at the moment? How did you secure that job? I'm quite keen to get into the industry and learn from the ground-up if needed - Grad Schemes are great, but not the only options obvs :)
     
  20. 387star

    387star Established Member

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    Quick question on Grad schemes:

    Presuming then it is possible to be accepted on a Grad scheme even if not a recent grad?

    The Institution of Railway Operators does offer a graduate scheme to all members of TOCs AFAIK although they may not finance you
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---


    Also think about the Assessment days and whether you are prepared eg knowledge of basic finance
     
    Last edited: 29 Oct 2011
  21. 142094

    142094 Established Member

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    In most cases yes, although for those who have been working for a while they'd probably be looking at normal vacancies anyway. However I do know that in the past few years there have been more people with post-grad degrees applying, which increases the competition even more for places.
     
  22. Simon11

    Simon11 Member Jobs & Careers Assistant

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    While you didn't ask me brantastic, I finished my degree this June and working for FCC as Revenue Analyst. Great job with good involvement in lots of commercial decisions and have lots of time to learn about the business :D
     
  23. FManc

    FManc Member

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    I'm just a customer service assistant (casual) so working weekends at the moment which fits in with uni. I saw the job ad posted online and applied for it just like anyone else would. :) I guess I was lucky....was looking for a job within the industry and then stumbled across it when they advertised on my university career website.
     
  24. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Don't be put off by a lack of past experience or degree relevance. I know of a classics graduate who settled well into procurement and loads of people who started with no previous experience but when I met them six months later had picked up so much knowledge and experience.

    The London Underground graduate scheme for example involves successful candidates undergoing an 'Operational placement' after which they will either be a qualified Station Supervisor or Customer Service Assistant and in some cases have the opportunity to be a Train Operator Trainee.
     
  25. metro

    metro New Member

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    I believe it depends on what area you want to get in to as despite TOCs and other railway companies like Network Rail and London Underground being relatively small vs. the larger FTSE100 companies, there are still a diverse range of departments.

    Do you want to shape how services are delivered? Could you manage front-line staff, or would you prefer to work in a planning or strategy role?

    Do you have a head for figures? In which case something in commercial, finance or procurement might be for you.

    There are so many different areas and looking at the various graduate scheme websites should give you an idea of what the companies are looking for.
     
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