A RAIL operator is about to welcome its first recruits as part of a scheme to help the long-term unemployed into work.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which runs Southern Rail services in stations in

Sussex, launched its Sector-based Work Academy Programme (Swap).

The programme has given training to 12 candidates to boost their employment chances and skills.

It was designed in partnership with Sussex Skills Solutions, part of East Sussex College, and Jobcentre Plus.


GTR says it breaks down barriers for those who have been unemployed for a long time and not involved in training or education.

Candidates learn skills to boost their job chances and gain qualifications.

Now GTR says it is holding interviews for two positions.

Southern and Gatwick Express boss Angie Doll said these schemes can make a huge difference

She said: “We’re committed to providing support in the communities we serve and feel it is more important than ever to help people in society that may be at risk of exclusion.

“This is just part of our wider strategy to enable social mobility.”

Sussex Skills Solutions director Stephen Burkes said the candidates have learned customer service skills and employability skills.

He said: “For those who are unsuccessful in gaining those roles, this course will enable them to become better equipped in their search for work.”

Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP, said: “It’s great to see local jobseekers benefit from our vital partnership with GTR and East Sussex College supporting them to boost their employability though the Swap scheme.

“All candidates will be leaving this placement with new skills and qualifications to pivot into expanding sectors and enter meaningful employment – and with a guaranteed interview on completion, I wish them every success.”