ScotRail makes progress in creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce

ScotRail has been involved in a number of initiatives which aim to attract a more diverse and inclusive workforce into rail.

ScotRail logo on a train

ScotRail is making strides to break down barriers and create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. The railway has traditionally seen an older, white, male dominated workforce, something which ScotRail, and the wider industry, has been working to change.

Over the past few years, ScotRail has been involved in a number of initiatives which aim to break down stereotypes and attract more disabled people, women, and members of the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic community into the railway.

As part of ScotRail’s ambitious early careers strategy, the train operator has set itself the target of increasing the number of apprentices tenfold by 2025. To help achieve this, ScotRail took on 16 young people in Modern Apprenticeship roles during 2021, the highest intake of apprentices in the past five years.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS), in partnership with equality organisations, works with employers to help them attract, support, and retain individuals to create more inclusive and diverse workforces. In Scotland, the latest figures by SDS show that there are 4,836 Modern Apprentices in training who have self-identified as having a disability, with 3,334 starting an apprenticeship in the last year.

The train operator also plans to offer a clear career pathway with opportunities for existing staff to take advantage of new and innovative early careers programmes. This includes more engagement with Scottish schools in each of the mainland local authority areas and enhanced placement partnerships, graduate schemes, and intern programmes.

“Scotland’s Railway is for everyone, and that extends to both our customers and our workforce,” Joanne Maguire, Chief Operating Officer for ScotRail, said. “We are passionate about providing opportunities for people of all backgrounds. We want to show that there’s a place for everyone in the rail industry, and that everyone has something to offer. Having had the pleasure of meeting Ross twice myself, it has been fantastic to see how much he has grown and developed since starting his Modern Apprenticeship with ScotRail, and I hope his story inspires more people to consider the railway, and apprenticeships, as a viable career path.”

“Employers need individuals from a range of backgrounds to develop a diverse workforce that reflects the communities they are in and serve,” Katie Hutton,  Director of National Training Programmes for Skills Development Scotland, said. “People with different abilities bring unique perspectives and experience to a business and apprenticeships support people to build on their skills and meet business needs.”

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