Railway Careers Day for young asylum seekers in Southend

Thursday, 14 July 2022

Southend Adult Community College students and Greater Anglia managers at Southend Victoria station

Above: Southend Adult Community College students and Greater Anglia managers at Southend Victoria station. Credit: Essex and South Suffolk CRP.

Greater Anglia managers held a Careers Day for young asylum seekers at Southend Victoria station on 1 July.

The event was facilitated by the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership who are working with Southend Adult Community College to improve social inclusion and career prospects for young refugees and asylum seekers.

Students aged 16-19 from the college’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course met with Greater Anglia’s management team at Southend on Friday 1 July to discover the various job roles that are available on the railway.

The college’s Head of Adult Learning, Patricia North, said, “We were really grateful to the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership for facilitating this really beneficial link.

“Thanks to the Greater Anglia team at Southend, too, for their time and help outlining all the possible job opportunities as we prepare our students for the world of work.

“It was a real eye opener for our students – especially the girls from Afghanistan who met a female train driver, something that is almost unheard of in their country - and it was great for them to be able to practice their English-speaking skills as well.”

Catherine Gaywood, Community Rail Partnership Officer, said, “We were delighted to help the college with an introduction to possible careers on the railway with the added benefit of helping young asylum seekers to feel more integrated and confident in using public transport.”

Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said, ““Greater Anglia is a great place to work and we were delighted to welcome the students and show them the different job roles they might want to consider as they start their careers.

“Greater Anglia is committed to diversity, equality and reducing barriers to progression, as a diverse workforce is a better workforce.”