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Thursday 17 November 2016

Rail apprentice on fast track


A Crewe apprentice is on a career fast-track as the railway industry gears up for an exciting phase of investment and growth.  

Kirsty Walley grabbed her opportunity to link up with Crewe-based TBM Rail when she left school, and has recently moved on to Unipart Rail who operate a depot on Gresty Road.

Formed in 2009, TBM Rail provides passenger comfort services to train operating companies. A key part of the business expansion has involved investing in people through structured apprenticeship programmes.

Seeing one of the firm’s original apprentices fly the nest was a sad moment for the staff, but TBM Rail director Neil Smith is delighted to see her progress.

He said: “We knew that expanding the business required fresh ideas and new skills, and that’s exactly what Kirsty brought to the table.

“From day one she listened, learned and took initiative. It was a pleasure watching her develop into the role and become a valued member of the company.”  

After five years, and with her working portfolio boasting many accomplishments, Kirsty decided that the time was right to explore fresh challenges.

She said: “I found the opportunity on the government apprenticeship website, and as well as starting a really hands-on job I studied Business Administration at the college.

“During my teenage years and even after leaving school I was always keen to work within the rail environment, so finding the job with TBM Rail was ideal for me.

“The role was always varied, with a diverse range of client accounts managed from the unit in Crewe.”

South Cheshire College work in partnership with many firms to ensure that students are equipped with the right practical and business skills.

Maria Davison, Work Based Learning and Employment Engagement Director, said: “At South Cheshire College our curriculum and work-based programmes are all geared towards preparing students for the world of work. 

“We are delighted for Kirsty who has progressed her career since leaving the college and wish her all the best in the future.”

Unipart Rail are excited to engage young professionals who have gained vital industry experience. They also run an extensive apprenticeship programme.

Dawn Allett, Senior HR Advisor at Unipart Rail, said: “TBM Rail is just one of many railway businesses in Crewe that sees Apprentice programmes as crucial to the future of the Industry.

“At Unipart Rail on Gresty Road, apprentices form a core part of the strategy for ensuring a successful future, and the scheme won the Inspiring Apprenticeship Cheshire & Warrington, Cheshire Business Award in 2013.

“Whilst apprentices are usually thought to be in technical roles, at Unipart Rail they also have apprentices in office-based roles.

“With regular ‘Recognition’ events, the Apprentices share their learning with colleagues from across the business, embedding their skills within the wider business operations and demonstrating to their colleagues the successes they have achieved.”

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