Inclusive Trains: a project promoted by the Alstom Foundation, Alstom, JUAN XXIII FOUNDATION and OUIGO to improve employability of people with intellectual disabilities

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  • A pioneering initiative to promote the employability of people in situation of psychosocial vulnerability through training and internships in real railway operating environment

  • After 12 months of training, the trainees are currently gaining work experience on OUIGO’s high-speed trains

28 February 2024 - The Alstom Foundation, Alstom, JUAN XXIII FOUNDATION and OUIGO have jointly developed a training and internship programme to boost employability for people with intellectual disabilities. The initiative, called "Inclusive Trains", started with the implementation of a training course in the railway field (developed by FUNDACIÓN JUAN XXIII and funded by the Alstom Foundation), to offer new job opportunities: assistance on board, support in stations, etc. Following the completion of the training, certain students have been able to improve their skills and employability thanks to the internships developed in collaboration with the high-speed operator OUIGO.

Although access to the labour market for people with disabilities has improved in recent years there remains a considerable distance to cover. According to the latest data from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE), the employment rate of people with disabilities is 27.8%, compared to 68.1% for people without disabilities. The unemployment rate, on the other hand, is 8.6 points higher than that of the non-disabled population (21.4% compared to 12.8%).

The need to improve this situation led to the creation of the "Inclusive Trains" project, developed jointly by three leading companies in their sector, that are committed to developing a more inclusive society and promoting equal opportunities for all groups.  

Dedicated training

FUNDACIÓN JUAN XXIII, an entity that has been working for more than 55 years for the social and labour inclusion of people in a situation of psychosocial vulnerability, has been responsible for developing the training project, with the funding and support of the Alstom Foundation, through its Training Centre for Employment, a pioneering resource for providing training solutions adapted to people with intellectual disabilities and/or mental illness. In this first promotion, 10 people with intellectual disabilities have acquired theoretical and practical knowledge about maintenance, cleaning and management of the services offered on board trains, acquiring the necessary skills to become a cabin crew member in the railway sector. Of the ten trainees, three of them have found employment, and two others are currently completing their internships at the high-speed operator OUIGO, , which also participated in the training.

Practice at full speed

Once they have completed their training period, for three months (from February to April 2024), the participants are putting their knowledge into practice on board OUIGO's high-speed trains. The operator has assigned them a variety of on-board and customer service tasks so that they can get to know the day-to-day life of the company and acquire the skills needed to develop autonomously.

This training is carried out with the support and help of the OUIGO crew and the JUAN XXIII FOUNDATION employment service. Thanks to this experience, the participants increase their employability and the likelihood of finding a job.

A project born from Alstom’s employees

The development of this project has been made possible thanks to the support and funding of the Alstom Foundation which, each year, invites all the company's employees around the world to submit proposals for charitable projects where the organisation can actively participate through financial contributions and logistical support. For the 2022 call, the Foundation Board received 235 proposals from 46 countries. Among these, one of those selected was the one promoted by an engineer from Alstom's signalling site in Madrid who, through his project, wanted to offer new job opportunities to this group.

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