YOUNG people are being given the opportunity to gain customer experience and qualifications under a new recruitment programme.

Through the government's Kickstart Scheme, Southern Rail has recruited six new people to become customer experience ambassadors.

The new team members are aged between 16 and 24 from the south of England and will be based at Brighton, Haywards Heath, Eastbourne, Worthing and Chichester stations.

They will be responsible for assisting customers and providing reassurance to those returning to rail travel since the pandemic.

The Argus: Sussex tourism given a boost with Southern Rail's new recruits

Southern and East Sussex College are working together to enable those on the placements to work towards a level two qualification in travel and tourism.

This qualification will further increase their job prospects and give them a wider understanding of the industry.

Southern is also offering the opportunity for two young people to become new tourism and event research assistants.

The successful candidates will work with local organisations to find out key information about events and attractions and feed this back to the company.

This will allow for effective planning in the summer months when there will be an increase in leisure travel.

Angie Doll, managing director for Southern, said: “Our employability initiatives are key to delivering a more diverse and inclusive organisation, something we’re very passionate about.

“We want to help our local economies thrive and with the leisure sector opening up for summer, these placements will be vital in boosting tourism in and around Sussex.

"Government schemes such as Kickstart have helped us to reach talent across our communities and support those who may have otherwise struggled to gain skills and experience in the current economic climate.”

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create six month job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Mims Davies MP, Minister for Employment, said: “Southern Rail has used a mixture of our Plan for Jobs schemes to bring in new talent, and it’s great to see more young people begin their Kickstart journey – helping them get on track and develop the new skills and confidence to thrive in work."