FirstGroup has welcomed a new cohort of graduates across its UK operations, including South Western Railway (SWR) and TransPennine Express (TPE).

Eighteen graduates have been given roles within the business, with four joining SWR and three joining TPE.

Following their induction at FirstGroup’s learning centre in Huddersfield, the graduates will join finance, engineering and operations management teams around the country.

FirstGroup received 2,796 applications for this year’s graduate programme, with the number of places this year increasing from 10 to 18.

Isobel Tully, one of SWR’s new rail operations graduate, said: “The FirstGroup programme appealed to me as it is an organisation that really cares about its employees. The graduate programme with SWR is very hands-on which is exactly what I was after. I’m able to learn on the job every day and contribute to the development of the operations side of the business.

Isobel Tully. Photo: FirstGroup.

“Initially, I’ll be based at Clapham Junction and Waterloo stations but will need to learn the SWR route from top to bottom. I’m originally from Dudley in the West Midlands and studied Geology at the University of Plymouth so everything will be very new for me. I can’t wait to get started.”

Philip Sears, rail operations graduate for TPE, said: “As someone with a deep interest in railways, I am very fortunate to have a place on FirstGroup’s graduate scheme.

“I am spending my first few months in performance and control at TransPennine Express, as part of which I am particularly looking forward to experiencing real-time responses to incidents, and the interaction between the decisions made by control, the actions of staff on the ground, and the subsequent analysis and recommendations of the performance team.

“Indeed, it is the wide variety of different experiences on offer, as well as the opportunity to work towards making a real difference to customers in such an important industry, which make First’s graduate scheme so attractive.”


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