Greg Ballantyne QTS Graduate

UK: Rail contractor QTS Group has launched a graduate scheme to help develop talent and position the industry as an attractive career choice for young people.

Following a pilot in 2021, QTS Group is now recruiting graduates for the programme across several offices, including South Lanarkshire in Scotland and Linby in Nottingham. Graduates will undertake placements in various departments across both operational and support functions before settling in a permanent position once the scheme ends.

Different options are available: one for business graduates involves placements across all aspects of the company, while there are programmes in role-specific divisions for those with relevant degrees such as civil engineering or quantity surveying.

The programme forms part of QTS Group’s wider plans to encourage more young people to join the rail industry, with the company saying a ‘talent vacuum’ had emerged over in recent years.

The company has also signed up to the government’s Kickstart Scheme, which provides funding to enable businesses to offer work experience and tackle unemployment. It has secured funding for 20 placements, and now has a number of young people undertaking a variety of six month placements throughout the UK.

‘It has been a challenging few years for the rail industry, with the repercussions of Brexit, Covid-19 and limited awareness of the industry causing a shortage of skills’, said Training Director Lorna Gibson on March 29. ‘There is a wealth of employment opportunities from construction and engineering to office-based work available and at QTS we are passionate about encouraging younger people to get involved in what we know can lead to an exciting and rewarding career.’