Knorr-Bremse Rail UK is a member of the global Knorr-Bremse Group, a world leader in on-board systems and service support for rail vehicles. Operating from four UK locations: Melksham and Corsham in Wiltshire, Burton-upon-Trent and Manchester, Knorr-Bremse design, manufacture and support systems for all types of rail vehicles, from trams to very high-speed trains.

In May 2019, Knorr-Bremse pledged to back the Be Involved initiative in the support of local schools and apprenticeships. We spoke with Rachel Hansen, Lead HR Business Partner at Knorr-Bremse, about their pledge:

Your first pledge as a company is to support local schools. Can you tell us about that?

We have been supporting local schools for a while now and our HR Business Partner, Georgie Reeves, has been a member of the ‘Enterprise Advisor Network’ since 2018, an initiative that aims to strengthen links between employers and local schools/colleges in the Wiltshire area. We attended a recent careers fair at Corsham School, and we plan to attend several further events in the new academic year, making students aware of the careers that are available to them in engineering. Additionally, we have students from Abbeyfield and Melksham Oak Schools undertaking work experience with us this summer.

You also pledged to support apprenticeships. What are your plans?

In the past we have taken on two apprentices a year, but in 2019 we are increasing that number to five – and we hope to continue this in future. Our new apprentices will be studying a Level 3 Engineering Technician qualification, spending their first year at the fantastic MAKE UK Technology Hub in Birmingham. As a company we understand that there is a skills shortage in engineering and encouraging young individuals to pursue a career in the field is key to resolving this. We see apprentices as the future of our own workforce, and the scheme is part of our ‘succession planning’. Our Operations Director, Tim Sharpe, was an apprentice himself, and he is extremely passionate about our scheme and providing others with the chance to start their career as an apprentice.

Applications for the 2020 Knorr-Bremse Apprenticeship Scheme will open in September 2019. To find out more about the scheme, visit the apprenticeship page of their website here.

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