Back in 2013, Eurostar - one of our business partners in King’s Cross, and a key member of the local business community - worked with our young people from April to October to offer work experience focused on customer service. This work experience tied in perfectly with our programme supporting local young people to participate in entrepreneurial activities linked in with the Skip Garden and its Kitchen, as it enabled them to see customer service in action in a real business.
The week-long placement gave our young people a complete overview of Eurostar and included seeing behind the scenes at St Pancras International, looking after customers, experiencing life in head office, working with sales and traveller care at Eurostar’s contact centre in Ashford, and – always the highlight – shadowing one of two train managers on a Eurostar journey.
28 of our young people took part in the first round of placements, all of whom found the experience rewarding, challenging and very useful. Govinda, 16 at the time, said “During my work experience, I have had an exceptionally enjoyable and productive time. I have been fascinated by the care which Eurostar employees put into customer care and also to us as young people.”
After a busy 2014, we’re all delighted to work with Eurostar again to be able to offer more work experience placements this year. So far in 2015, Adam, Emma, Jessica, Kaine, Rovina, Tunji, Wasima and Zakia have completed their placements, and more opportunities are to come throughout the summer months.
Reflecting on his recent experience, Kaine, 17, has said, "My time at Eurostar was amazing! I learnt so many invaluable things that I can use and apply to later life. For example, I learnt how to separate my personal feelings from my professional work, which is very important as it can affect the overall service that the customers receive."
Tunji, 16, felt he "really enjoyed the work experience," adding, "I'd just like to say a massive thank you for the opportunity, I'm very grateful."
Lesley Retallack, Eurostar’s Head of CSR & Events, who coordinates all of the placements, also has high praise for all our young people. “I just wanted to say that Kaine and Tunji were exceptional in every way,” she said. “ We were blown away by both of them. Absolutely sterling young men.