A lance corporal, lance sergeant and warrant officer make up the first cohort in East Midlands Train’s ‘Train into Work’ programme.

The trio will work with the TOC’s customer service teams and be introduced to the rail sector in the hope of easing their transition into civilian life.

East Midlands Trains (EMT) has said the work placement – which is opened to members of the armed force who are in the final year of their contract – is the least it can do for the selfless military personnel.

Made up of Mark Bunning, of Derbyshire, Andrew Finlan, of Nottingham, and Mark Evans, of Lincolnshire, respectively, the group will shadow station managers and work on services across the East Midlands Trains network at Nottingham and Lincoln Central stations.

In addition, they will shadow train dispatchers, gate line staff and ticket office clerks.

Career guidance will also be provided to the candidates, regardless of whether they progress with EMT.

Mark Bunning, who will be based at Nottingham station, said, ‘Seeing how all the different jigsaw pieces fit together to make the picture whole has been a real eye-opener.

‘I can see all of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into ensuring services are running smoothly and how to communicate this to customers at stations and on board trains.

‘I’m looking forward to getting around and seeing how the business works from an operational perspective and then continuing to develop my customer-service skills.’

David Hornsey is the employer engagement manager for the Career Transition Partnership, who help members of the armed forces find work after leaving the service.

He said, ‘Work placements such as this provide a fantastic forum for those individuals in the process of leaving the armed forces to gain on-the-job experience in the civilian workplace and the feedback I’ve received from the team so far has been extremely positive.

‘We’re looking forward to continuing the Train into Work programme with East Midlands Trains and helping more service leavers pursue careers within the rail sector.’