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UK’s first ever Community Rail Apprentice from South Wales is on track for a First-Class career

05 March 2018

UK’s first ever Community Rail Apprentice from South Wales is on track for a First-Class career: Danielle Hopkins-3

To mark National Apprentice Week (5-9 March), a 23-year-old from the Rhondda Valley is encouraging more young people in Wales to start their career with an apprenticeship programme.

After securing her apprenticeship three months ago, Danielle Hopkins from Tonypandy is based along Arriva Trains Wales’ Valleys network and is hoping to gain rail industry qualifications with Arriva after being recruited as the UK’s first ever Community Rail Apprentice.

WATCH and download the video interview here

She is currently working towards completing an NVQ Level 2 in Business Development, as well as learning a vast amount of new skills, building strong relationships between the rail industry and the community that it serves, and utilising the tourism opportunity in the Cardiff Valleys. She said:

“I’ve always been interested in the rail industry and the apprenticeship seemed like a great way to get into a working environment without having to go to University first.

“Everyone I work with is extremely welcoming and friendly; they’ve helped me improve my skill set and knowledge around the rail industry, even in the three months that I’ve been here.

“An apprenticeship offers young people the chance to gain hands on skills and an education on the job, so I’d definitely encourage more people who are looking to start a career, to consider an apprenticeship as the way to do this.”

“Lynda Hammett, Talent Manager for Arriva Trains Wales, said:

“Danielle is one of many apprentices at Arriva who highlight the success of our apprenticeship scheme and we’re extremely proud of the programme. Since 2013, we have appointed 28 apprentices across our operations, Customer Service and Engineering functions all of whom have made a fantastic contribution to our business.

“We are delighted that all of the apprentices who have completed their apprenticeships have achieved permanent roles and are forging exciting careers within Arriva Trains Wales, as result of our award-winning apprenticeship programme.”

For more information on Arriva Trains Wales’ apprenticeship programme, please visit:

Contact information

Megan Evans

Notes to editors

Notes to Editor

About Arriva Trains Wales

  • The Arriva Trains Wales network extends throughout Wales and the border counties of England, providing local and long distance services to major destinations such as Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, Birmingham, Chester and Manchester.
  • Providing for just under 32 million passenger journeys per year, ATW plays a major social and economic role in connecting people and communities throughout its network with a fleet of 128 trains covering a route of over 1,000 miles. ATW operates 247 stations throughout England and Wales of which 55 are staffed.
  • The Wales and Borders franchise started in December 2003 and runs for 15 years.  In the past 10 years, Arriva Trains Wales has invested £31 million in the network to improve stations, staff facilities and training, service availability and ticket purchase opportunities.
  • ATW is dedicated to providing excellent customer service throughout its network: National Rail Passenger Survey results report the overall customer satisfaction with Arriva Trains Wales is currently at 82% (Autumn 2015), while ATW is consistently one of the best national ‘right time’ performing rail operators in the UK.
  • ATW is one of the largest private sector employers in Wales, employing around 2200 people, and has created more than 300 additional jobs in Wales and the border counties since 2003.
  • ATW is committed to investing and developing in young talent: over 30 apprentices and graduate trainees have been recruited through its National Award Winning Apprenticeship Scheme.  
  • ATW is constantly seeking to improve links with local communities and customers. In 2004, ATW set up the popular ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme, supports many large high profile events around Wales such as Velothon Wales and the Cardiff Half Marathon and is a community partner of Disability Sports Wales.

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