In order to better highlight some of the IT career opportunities available in rail to young people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, Network Rail has launched a new competition.
The competition challenges young people to use their creative and technical skills to invent something new or innovative, outlining how their idea would be used, its purpose, who would use it, how it would be made safe and secure, and how technology would realise the project.
Many of these skills directly correlate to the IT, technical and engineering roles available within Network Rail’s workforce.
It is hoped the competition with encourage more young people from BAME backgrounds to consider a career in IT and, more widely, STEM subjects, as well as within the rail industry. BAME employees are underrepresented across all three fields.
At Network Rail, employees from a BAME background represent just under 10% of the workforce (9.38%).
A number of winners will be selected from participants, with prizes including IT equipment, including brand new Windows 10 laptops, work experience days, and mentoring from IT professionals.
One overall winner will be invited to apply with a recommendation for Network Rail’s IT Apprenticeship scheme, where they would not be guaranteed a place on the scheme but would receive support from a mentor throughout the application process.
To enter the competition, candidates must be between 16-18 years of age and live within a 40-mile radius of Network Rail’s Milton Keynes office (Q:MK, Elder Gate, MK9 1EN).
Maureen Parris, Network Rail’s Enterprise Architect, said: “We know that people from minority ethnic backgrounds are under-represented in our business, and in STEM fields such as IT. We hope this competition will encourage more young people from those backgrounds to consider IT in the railway as an exciting and worthwhile career.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the submissions, and I’m sure we’ll get lots of creative and innovative ideas.”
For those interested and eligible, in partnership with their school or college, candidates should email their submission to [email protected]. All entries must include a candidate’s name, email address, postal address (including postcode), and telephone number.