Graduates get to work on South Western Railway’s training programme

Graduates get to work on South Western Railway’s training programme

Wednesday 19th September 2018
  • New graduate trainees start on FirstGroup's South Western Railway programme
  • 2,796 applicants for this year’s intake
  • SWR’s cohort based across the Wessex network including London, Bournemouth, Basingstoke and Salisbury

Four new graduates began their careers in the transport industry this week as they joined FirstGroup’s training programme with South Western Railway.

The graduates, recruited from all over the UK, have already begun a comprehensive workplace training programme that will see them gain experience in multiple locations across the transport operator’s rail and bus operations.

The induction for graduates began at the company’s Group learning centre in Huddersfield and they are now working in their respective business areas.

A total of 2,796 applications were received for this year’s programme.

Morag Forbes, Rail Operations Graduate at South Western Railway
Morag Forbes, South Western Railway’s new Rail Operations graduate, said:

“I was delighted to be offered a place on FirstGroup’s graduate training programme and join the South Western Railway team. As FirstGroup’s newest addition to its transport portfolio, there are lots of exciting projects in the pipeline at SWR.

“I’m keen to learn from colleagues about how the railway works in practice. I’ll be working with the stations teams and focusing on customer experience improvements.

“I’m originally from Aberdeen and studied History and International Relations at the University of Exeter. I’m very adventurous, having also studied abroad in the Netherlands as part of my degree, and I’m looking to run my third marathon shortly. Hopefully I can bring this energy and enthusiasm to the SWR graduate programme.”

Photo of Aksa Mahmood, Engineering Graduate at South Western Railway
Aksa Mahmood, South Western Railway’s new Engineering graduate from London, said:

"The reason I was attracted to the FirstGroup South Western Railway graduate scheme was the sheer variety that is on offer and chance to learn about all aspects of the business.

“I’m excited to see what’s next for SWR as these are important years for the rail industry. I’m currently based in Salisbury and will get many opportunities to see the different depots across the network and how they are run. Being this far west is quite new for me as I’m originally from London and studied at Queen Mary University. I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

Isobel Tully, Rail Operations Graduate at South Western Railway
Isobel Tully, South Western Railway’s new Rail Operations graduate who lives in Basingstoke, said:

“The FirstGroup programme appealed to me as it is an organisation that really cares about its employees. The graduate programme with SWR is very hands-on which is exactly what I was after. I’m able to learn on the job every day and contribute to the development of the operations side of the business.

“Initially I’ll be based at Clapham Junction and Waterloo stations but will need to learn the SWR route from top to bottom. I’m originally from Dudley in the West Midlands and studied Geology at the University of Plymouth so everything will be very new for me. I can’t wait to get started.”

Casey Russell, Engineering Graduate at South Western Railway
Casey Russell, South Western Railway’s new Engineering graduate who is based in Bournemouth, said:

“My interest in working in rail came about as I saw the development of High Speed 1 in Kent, not far from where I’m from. I studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Exeter and now live in Bournemouth which is useful as I work primarily from the train care depot.

“It’s great to have already started on the grad programme - I already feel like part of a family that genuinely cares about the future of rail!”