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For 20-year-old Daniel Noon landing a job on the railways means more to him than to most people and it has set him on track for a bright future.

Daniel, who has learning disabilities, has landed a job at Network Rail thanks to a scheme designed to help people not in education, employment or training.

He was placed on the Kickstart Plus study programme to help him gain numeracy and literacy skills and provide support to help him find work.

And thanks to staff at Landau Training, in Wednesbury and BCTG in Oldbury, who manage Kickstart Plus, Daniel has surpassed himself by getting a job just weeks after starting a one-day work placement at Birmingham’s New Street station.

His enthusiasm for transport, trains and his knowledge of routes impressed bosses at the station so much they offered him the chance to work in the control centre after a stint on the platform advising travelers on timetables and carrying luggage.

Carole Morton, from Landau, said Daniel had been attending the programme to boost his numeracy and literacy skills since last October.

She said: “Public transport and especially trains are a real passion of Daniel’s so we speculatively called Network Rail to see if they could help us find a work experience placement for him. They were just great and said yes straight away.“

Mike Smith, who works on the Kickstart Plus programme for BCTG, added: “It is credit to staff at Network Rail for giving him the opportunity to show what an asset he is proving to be to their business. This just shows how the Kickstart Plus programme really works for the benefit of the young person and the employer.”

Daniel said: “I am in my dream job working at Birmingham New Street and learning about the rail network. I do have learning disabilities but they don’t stop me from doing the best I can at my job.”

Andy Knowles New Street Station operations manager, added: “Daniel is a breath of fresh air and we are all happy to have him on the team. This was an experiment for us, taking someone on from Kickstart Plus and it should have just been a work placement but Daniel quickly proved a real asset and we have taken him on. He started out on the platform helping passengers with timetables and routes but his knowledge is so good we’ve brought him into the control centre to assist our team who manage the train times and routes.”


Pictured l-r Daniel Noon, Andy Knowles, Mike Smith and Carole Morton
BCTG (Black Country Training Group Limited) works with a range of training organisations across the West Midlands delivering a range of publicly and privately funded training initiatives. It is based In Taylors Lane, Oldbury.

• BCTG works closely with a range of public and private organizations, including the Skills Funding Agency and the Education Funding Agency, who support many of our activities.

• BCTG has four main aims:

1. Engaging with young people and adults to take up vocational learning
2. Working with employers to help develop the skills their business needs to succeed
3. To improve the quality of education and training delivered in the West Midlands
4. Building partnerships across all the stakeholders interested in improving education and training.

• BCTG offers a wide range of information, advice and training services to suit the needs of young people, schools, training providers and employers.

Kickstart Plus is co-ordinated by BCTG based in Taylors Lane, Oldbury, and run by a series of training providers in the area who help young people overcome their barriers to learning and encourage them into further training or employment.

Issued by Jane Williams on behalf of BCTG contact 01902 751565/07961 048613 or www.janewilliamsphotography.co.uk

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