How Virgin Trains is supporting young people in education

How Virgin Trains is supporting young people in education

One major issue for many new graduates is that they leave university with a huge amount of debt and very little work experience. To combat this, Virgin Trains run their Red Track scheme where students can study while they work and graduate with no debt and three years of work experience…

“I had offers from universities but I wasn’t convinced about paying such high fees and coming out with no work experience as such,” Lucy Atkinson, who came through the Red Track scheme at Virgin Trains, says. “A lot of my friends had come out of university with good degrees but still struggled to get jobs because they didn’t have the work experience. I saw the Red Track scheme as a great opportunity to get a degree and work experience, and obviously Virgin have such a great reputation.”

Red Track is a three year programme, where students spend one year working in various parts of the Virgin Trains business, from stations to human resources, before specialising in one particular area in their second and third years. At the same time, the students complete a Business Management degree with Manchester Metropolitan University, which is funded by Virgin Trains. They spend four days a month at university, and work in a full time role at the train company at the same time. Lucy admits that it’s pretty intense, “but it’s actually a really good way of doing it in my opinion because you get to the content that’s relevant to your job and your work experience feeds in to the assignments that you’re doing.”

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