One firm is gearing up for its biggest-ever intake of apprentices to meet the demand for train services.
Southeastern will be recruiting more than 400 staff members this year to fill roles such as train drivers, conductors, engineers, accountants and management.
Onboard learning coach Ben Morling said the drive comes post-covid as there is an “increase in passenger numbers” and services.
Speaking to KentOnline, he added: “We are going to be recruiting a lot more train drivers as timetables develop and services increase so we can meet that demand.
"If you employ a lot of train drivers there is almost a domino effect as some of those vacancies are going to be filled by natural progression internally. We then have to fill those roles.
“It is ensuring we can meet the demand and Southeastern gives staff the skills for life and investment they require to be the best at what they do."
Revenue protection officer at London Bridge, Khadiija Mohamed, started as an apprentice.
The 23-year-old added: “If you are thinking about doing an apprenticeship, why not? It is there for your self-development and will give you an extra qualification in your working hours.”
The train company has helped nearly 550 people complete their apprenticeship programme since 2018.
However, this year, it is looking to take on 412 apprentices, no matter their age, which will include the opportunity to progress to a Masters in Business Administration.
The news comes ahead of National Apprenticeship Week which starts today (Monday).
The theme this year is Skills for Life which can range from helping new entrants into work to start them off on the right track or helping existing workers to learn and develop new skills and seek new opportunities.
This is the 17th annual week dedicated to raising awareness of apprenticeships while celebrating the value, benefit and opportunity that they bring to individuals and the workplace.