Apprenticeship scheme just the ticket insists transport minister

Transport minister Derek Mackay and modern apprentice Laura Friel.

Transport minister Derek Mackay and modern apprentice Laura Friel.

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Transport minister Derek Mackay met up with a ScotRail modern apprentice to mark Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2016.

Mr Mackay joined Laura Friel (19), from Kilsyth, at Glasgow Queen Street Station to advise passengers about changes to services and distribute information flyers ahead of the Queen Street high level tunnel closure on March 20.

Laura currently works on the Class 385 model that’s located in Waverley Station, explaining the features of the new trains that will operate on the Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk High service.

She is shortly due to start work in Queen Street Station issuing tickets and directing passengers through the one-way queuing systems that will be in place during the diversions.

Mr Mackay said: “The modern apprenticeship programme is a great way to introduce talented people to the railway industry and ensures that we continue to deliver first class customer service for passengers across the network.

“As well as committing ScotRail to recruiting at least 10 apprentices each year, the franchise agreement also obligates ScotRail to provide a number of innovative training opportunities across its workforce.

“Scottish modern apprenticeships week is an excellent opportunity to draw attention to the value that apprenticeships can bring to employers and encourage more organisations to offer these opportunities to young people across Scotland.”

Rob Shorthouse, ScotRail Alliance communications director said: “We are proud to play our part in making sure that talented young people like Laura can take the first steps in their career.

“Our modern apprentices rise to any challenge they face and bring with them a fresh outlook which benefits our company and our customers.

“We are delighted to have Laura on board and look forward to having many more young people like her working with us in the years ahead.”