Changing our Ways- Reviewing Training at First Capital Connect

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By looking at what we need to operate a multi discipline wide ranging business more effectively we have been able to tailor our recruiting training and development to meet our demands. Traditionally the railway has had a low key approach to this area of its business but with a root and branch review we now have a programme that captures all aspect of the varied work we carry out.
Our staff retention is phenomenal losing less than 8% of our team annually and now we have clear progression and development within our teams and at all levels.

First Capital Connect has a work force of 2,500 and a commitment within its People strategy to focus on initiatives to increase employee engagement. We strive to attract and retain high calibre individuals and once part of the workforce, team members receive continuous training and development through an ambitious package of opportunities designed to meet the needs of the individual, the business and customers.
Business needs vary so we’ve reviewed every aspect of training and development -from recruitment days, where behaviours and attitude are assessed to management and leadership qualifications, to focussing on specific areas including safety and disruption management.

We have created a suite of training courses designed specifically for the industry we work in and to enhance and develop our people in the process. Going from the prosaic to the ambitious we have looked at ideas as straightforward as improving station announcing to challenging the principles of safety leadership through an innovative behavior led course rolled out to all key managers in the business.[/one_half_last]

Some of our training can be affected by the demands of rostering our people and an ambitious programme of training can be difficult to manage on the ground. However, the practicalities of training cannot outweigh the benefits of receiving training so we must find ways to accommodate the programme.

All frontline staff were asked just over a year ago if they wished to take on the challenge of an NVQ level 2 in customer service. The response was astounding with over 300 colleagues starting on the journey. With a dropout rate of just 5% the first outtake of successful candidates has passed out with more to follow.
Fostering the talent or potential of young people through our apprentice scheme has also proven rewarding. As the first train operator to offer an apprenticeship in Customer Service it has been rewarding to the team and to those young people who have now secured full time roles in the business[/one_half_last]