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Life at First

We’re making training fun

At GWR, we’re underway with our biggest fleet upgrade in 40 years, which will bring new experiences to our customers when it comes to enjoying more seats, more frequent trains, and faster, more comfortable journeys.

But our customers aren’t the only ones who benefit. Our drivers get to experience something new and exciting too, as they also need to learn how to drive our new trains using our full cab simulators.

And that’s where our commitment to Learning and Development really comes in. Learning how to drive a new kind of train can be daunting so we’re working hard to create a group based blended learning programme that suits lots of different styles, and is as much fun as possible.

Inspiring girls across the UK to choose driving and engineering

The UK might have the lowest percentage of female engineers in Europe, but two women from First Bus are doing everything they can to change that.

Kelly, an Apprentice Mechanical/Electrical engineer based in Southampton and Michelle, an Engineering Apprentice in Bristol are hoping to inspire a future generation of girls to choose driving or engineering careers.

Kelly and Michelle are proving that there are no barriers preventing women from working within the transport industry. And their advice to any budding bus drivers or mechanics is to get started as early as possible and never give up, because this is a job that anyone can be great at!

There’s £5m up for grabs in our SWR communities

Did you know that our commitment to helping our communities goes much further than just providing fast, frequent and comfortable rail travel that gets passengers to where they want to go?

At South Western Railway, we also have our brilliant Customer and Communities Improvement Fund that’s designed to support social and community projects across our Mainland and Island Line networks.

There’s a total of more than £5m up for grabs for projects that have a clear link to the railway, and which bring something positive to our communities, and we can’t wait to see how - and where - that money is spent.

You can find out more here

It’s #mdontheroad again at First York

At First Group, everyone has the opportunity to make their voice heard, thanks to our employee engagement survey, ‘Your Voice’.

We primarily use it to measure how happy our people are here at work. And we think few could be happier than First York driver Chris who won our survey raffle prize last month, which consisted of a day off while our MD worked his shift instead!

One of the things our survey measures is how likely our people are to recommend us as a great place to work - but in Chris’s case, we now think he’s more likely to recommend us as a great place to put your feet up!

Make your first steps count with an Apprenticeship

If you’re looking to take your first steps in a rail industry career, an Apprenticeship could be the answer. And if you’re looking for a programme that offers genuine long term opportunities, an Apprenticeship at TransPennine Express is exactly what you need.

Right now, we’re investing £500m into new trains and routes, which means it’s the perfect time to join us. An Apprenticeship gives you the chance to experience lots of different parts of our business so you can get a feel for what suits you best, and it can help you build a wide range of skills with everything from classroom based learning to true hands-on tasks.

You can read more about Apprenticeships at TransPennine Express by clicking here

Even our blue buses are green

Being a transport company, we’re naturally committed to doing our bit for the environment, and we get behind all kinds of green initiatives like the recent Clean Air Day, plus many more.

And if you’re a passenger, it’s even easier to get on board and support the cause too - and all you need to do is catch a bus to wherever you’re heading instead of driving. That’s because a full double decker bus can carry the same number of people that around 75 average cars on our roads carry.

So, it doesn’t matter what colour our buses are - they’re actually greener than you think!

A warm welcome to one of our newest team members

Here at South Western Railway, we’re always excited when someone new joins us, and we recently welcomed Ashley to our team at Havant Station.

Ashley’s a graduate from the Prince's Trust scheme, a youth charity that helps young people aged 11 to 30 get into rewarding jobs. His role is all about looking after our station ticket barriers, while also checking customers’ tickets and helping them with train times.

But his ambition is to eventually become a train driver - and we think you’re definitely in the right place. Welcome to the team!

Creating precious memories that will last a lifetime

Here at First Group, we love putting people first and we’re always looking for ways in which we can help out charities and other good causes.

It’s why we recently teamed up with the Family Holiday Association this summer to give disadvantaged families from across the North a chance to explore some of our great cities or enjoy a trip to the seaside.

We estimate that around 40 families with more than 80 children will benefit from the initiative, and we’re confident that these much-needed trips will help create precious memories that will last a lifetime.

Find out more about the Family Holiday association here.

Not every bus needs a bus driver

Every bus needs a bus driver, right? Wrong. Or at least not when that bus can drive all by itself!

These days, technology and transport go hand in hand, which is why we jumped at the chance to lead on a project that introduced the UK’s first ever fleet of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) last year.

The project was designed to tackle the problem of congestion on our roads, and to help enable a sustainable future when it comes to public transport. And we hope to get involved in lots more projects like this in the coming years, so watch this space.