ScotRail has embarked on a recruitment drive for hospitality stewards as it reintroduces its onboard food and drink service across its network.
The company is investing £918,000 in a drive to recruit 29 new on-train hospitality stewards.
From Monday, 4th April, an on-board food and drink service was re-introduced on a limited number of Inter7City services from Aberdeen to Edinburgh, on the Far North Line, and to Kyle of Lochalsh. Services on the West Highland Line are already catered for. As new recruits complete their training, the number of services with food and drink available will increase.
Services that are planned to have an on-board hospitality service can be checked on the ScotRail website. Customer Information Screens in stations will also display details of which trains have food and drink available.
On-train hospitality was suspended in 2020 following strict ‘essential travel only’ guidance. This led to a significant reduction in passenger numbers and revenue. Customers are gradually returning to the railway, but weekday passenger numbers remain well below pre-pandemic levels.
During the suspension, ScotRail’s hospitality team was redeployed to assist other areas of its business, such as focussing on touch-point cleaning on trains and in stations. However, because of the uncertainty during the pandemic, many team members moved on to new permanent or fixed-term roles within the railway, whilst all agency employees left the business. This uncertainty also meant that ScotRail could not actively recruit new staff members until now.
Vacancies will be available through ScotRail’s Customer Service Modern Apprenticeship. Anyone interested in applying should visit http://www.scotrail.co.uk/early-careers for more information.
Lesley Kane, ScotRail Commercial Director, said:
“I’m thrilled that we’re now beginning to reintroduce our food and drink offering onboard our trains. It’s another step forward on the road to recovery as we continue to welcome more customers back to Scotland’s Railway.
“Our Modern Apprenticeship offers young people across Scotland the opportunity to earn while they learn valuable skills and gain experience that will stand them in good stead for the future.
“This near £1million recruitment drive shows our commitment to supporting the country’s recovery and helping the economy grow.”