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Rail Operations Management Graduate

Salary notes: 
Competitive Salary + Benefits
Job/scheme locations: 
Type of opportunity: 
Graduate scheme
Application deadline: 

On this 2-year programme you'll learn to think strategically and develop the strengths and skills you need to potentially become a future leader within our business. You'll get to grips with real-life projects whilst learning on the job via a variety of placements. And you'll make a big impact on our operations and the lives of millions of customers.

Which operating companies could I work in?

FirstGroup is one of the UK's most experienced rail operators running every type of service from long distance, regional, commuter and sleeper services, anywhere between Cornwall and Scotland. We currently operate three franchises in which we place graduates – Great Western Railway, TransPennine Express and South Western Railway, as well as the open access passenger rail service – Hull Trains. Last year our rail services transported 345 million passengers from over 400 stations. Across all operations, we are working with industry partners and local stakeholders to provide easy and convenient mobility, improving quality of life by connecting people and communities. 

What does the programme involve?

As an Operations Management graduate, your solid strategic awareness right from the start will provide you with an ability to look at the wider issues and the bigger picture, giving you an understanding of the knock-on effect of every decision you make. It's about spotting commercial opportunities, and reacting quickly and effectively to any challenges. You'll be as comfortable analysing data as you will be presenting proposals on new opportunities to improve the way we work.

During the programme you'll get fully involved with, and experience the following:

  • Hands-on participation as a member of our train, station and customer service teams
  • Go on a placement within Network Rail
  • Experience project and contract management
  • Spend time with the Performance and Safety teams
  • Join our Commercial, Operations and Finance teams
  • Join other business critical projects as and when suitable

Throughout the programme, we'll provide you with training courses to help you to develop your skills, strengths and knowledge. These will be a mixture of internal and external courses led by leading subject matter experts to aid with your progression.

We will support you every step of the way by providing you with a syllabus and assigning you a mentor who will work with you to ensure you realise your full potential. It's very much on-the-job learning for people eager to learn from others, yet passionate to drive their own development too. 

Who are you looking for and what qualifications do I need?

As a successful graduate within Rail Operations you will need:

  • To be high-reaching with your sights set on a future management role
  • Some solid strategic awareness and the ability to see the bigger picture 
  • The ability to build positive relationships and collaborate with your colleagues at every level
  • To have a real customer focus, being able to put the customer at the heart of everything you do to ensure the best customer experience
  • A focus on safety and the importance of ensuring a safe environment for yourself, the customer and your colleagues

We aren't strict with our entry criteria, there's only a few things we feel are essential:

You'll need to have achieved or be expected to achieve at least a 2:2 in any degree subject
You don't need any previous experience in the transport industry, just the passion, enthusiasm and curiosity to understand how the business operates and the ability to align yourself with the business goals and values. 

Where will I be located?

Ours is an industry that's always on the move. So you'll need the flexibility to adapt to an ever changing environment, as you'll go on placements throughout the UK. You'll move around our various train operators to ensure you obtain as much exposure as possible to our industry. 

What will I receive in return?

We offer a competitive salary, travel benefits, pension scheme, buy as you earn and save as you earn share schemes as well as discount and cash back programmes with high street and online retailers.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

How will I be selected?

Successful applicants will undergo a 5-stage selection process. Once you have applied, we will invite you to complete some online tests. If you get through these, you'll be asked to undertake a video interview. This may then result in you being invited to an assessment centre, which, if you pass, will lead to an offer for a place on the next graduate programme starting in September 2020.

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