Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership are saying au revoir to a young Newcastle College student who has undertaken a week’s work placement with the Partnership.
This is the first time that the Partnership has been able to offer an opportunity for a student to gain an insight into the world of community rail and the wider rail sector.
Grace Fisher is in her first year at Newcastle College studying City and Guilds Travel and Tourism and approached Fiona Forsythe, Partnership Officer to enquiry whether a placement might be possible.
“Grace spends a morning a week working with Virgin’s Customer Service Teams as part of her course, so she has a good appreciation of helping customers” said Fiona, “we constructed Grace’s timetable for the week to help her reflect on how the rail industry might attract new customers”
“I’ve travelled a lot this week, which surprised me” said Grace, “I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on meetings looking at marketing and promotions, been to the Metro Centre to learn about transport and social media, and learnt about TVCRP’s work with schools and young people. It’s been a varied week.”
One of the tasks which the Partnership set Grace, was to build a portfolio of pictures of the line which can be used in the future to support the Partnership’s social media work.
On Friday, Grace attended Northern’s Stakeholder event, where she met senior managers in the company, including Mike Paterson, Regional Director, who commented “I’m delighted to meet Grace. I’m very keen to encourage students to spend time with us on work placement. Not only does this help students develop all important work related skills, but it brings new ideas and energy into the business. That is good for Northern and good for our customers.”
The Partnership is currently finalising its action plan for 2017-2018. It is an ambitious plan, and the Partnership and Northern are discussing the possibility of extending Grace’s placement to be one day a week over an extended length of time. “An extended placement with Northern and helping the TVCRP would be good for my course, and my CV” said Grace “that’s an exciting end to my week here.”