Working with Network Rail to inspire future generations

The Trust and Network Rail have announced our new initiative, Budding Brunels Rail, aiming to help young people along the Crossrail lines in East and West London into careers in construction.

The programme’s aim is to develop industry awareness and employability skills for local young people, creating opportunities to feed into Network Rail’s apprenticeship and graduate schemes. Through working in a wide range of communities, including schools with a higher than national average percentage of students eligible for Free School Meals, and girls schools, they will also help to inspire a more diverse workforce. 

The programme is based on our existing initiative, Budding Brunels which is an Open College Network accredited schools engagement programme designed to inform and inspire students about higher education and career options within the built environment and aiming to broaden diversity within the sector.

The official launch event was held at the Building Centre last week with over 70 industry representatives in attendance.  Guests heard an introduction about the Trust from Executive Director Christine Townley, and speeches from Robbie Burns Regional Director at Network Rail, and Terry Morgan Non-Executive Chair at Crossrail.  Three students from the first project in Acton joined the guests to receive certificates for their participation.  The students explained their favourite elements of the three-day course and how the experience has inspired them to secure careers in the industry; Wictoria has applied for a Civil Engineering degree, Militha has applied to take a Mechanical Engineering degree, and Majdi is going to do an HND course. 

Terry Morgan, Non-Executive Chair at Crossrail commented on Crossrail’s outreach work:

“We are stretching ourselves out into communities that have been severely disadvantaged, delivering opportunities and being able to make a difference.”

Of the Crossrail project Robbie Burns Regional Director of Network Rail commented:

“We’ve got a fantastic programme of work.  It is extremely exciting and my people are motivated every day to deliver it.”

Students taking part in Budding Brunels Rail will meet inspirational figures currently working in the industry and hear about the routes of progression the industry provides. They will also be given a unique opportunity to tour the major infrastructure works along the route whilst also developing their employability skills through a series of activities around interview skills and professional expectations. Each project will culminate in interviews with staff from Network Rail to select a number of students to move into valuable work experience opportunities with Network Rail.

A unique part of the Budding Brunels Rail programme is the development of a Crossrail Club, an alumni network for participating students interested in pursuing a career in the industry. The Club will enable them to have a channel through which they can voice their experiences, receive newsletter updates, gain dedicated on-going careers advice and guidance and act as Trust ambassadors, engaging with future beneficiaries within their community to share experiences and promote the project.

To find out more information or to get involved please contact Yolanda Adamson