At least 150 young people looking to move full steam ahead into the workplace will be given advice by rail industry employees as a partnership between Network Rail and Barnardo’s enters its final year.
More than 50 young people have been given careers advice since Barnardo’s was named as Network Rail’s Charity of Choice in 2016, and another 150 care leavers and students in Barnardo’s Education, Training and Skills services are set to benefit as the programme picks up speed between now and March 2019.
To help plan for career workshops across the country, Network Rail’s chief executive Mark Carne and colleagues visited Barnardo’s Redbridge Leaving Care Service in east London on Thursday 5 April to understand the challenges young people face when moving towards independent living and finding employment.
Career workshops with young people are planned in Birmingham, Bradford, Newcastle, Brighton, Basingstoke, and Glasgow over the coming months.
Josh Ward, a project leader in Network Rail’s Capability and Development team, designed the sessions after experiencing first-hand the difficulties facing young people who are looking to gain work experience and enter the world of employment.
“Every child should be able to look to the future with hope. It’s been good to come here and see first-hand the work Barnardo’s does to build self-belief in young people who may not always recognise their transferable life skills or have many positive role models to aspire to.
“Our employees chose Barnardo’s as our charity of choice. As well as fundraising for the charity, our people volunteer their time assisting in activities such as CV workshops, providing young people with opportunities and skills that can enable them to transform their lives.
“As a company we work hard to engage and improve the lives of those in communities surrounding the railway and partnerships such as this with Barnardo’s help us to achieve that aim.”
Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail
The Barnardo’s and Network Rail partnership was launched in October 2016 and since that time it has raised £150,000 to support the charity’s work with children, young people and families across the UK.
Nearly 500 Network Rail employees have volunteered almost 4,000 hours of their time, helping out at Barnardo’s retail stores, supporting play schemes and sharing skills with young people, volunteers and Barnardo’s workers.
“Once again I’d like to thank Mark and his team for their ongoing commitment to the children and young people who are supported by Barnardo’s. Our partnership with Network Rail is having a real and lasting impact on young lives, and it’s fantastic to know that many more young people are set to benefit from expert careers advice over the next 12 months.”
Javed Khan, chief executive of Barnardo’s
Information about the work of Barnardo’s has also been displayed at 18 mainline stations in England and Scotland, including all major stations in London.