Transport for London has denied claims that it has suspended graduate recruitment due to cuts

Transport for London has denied claims that it has suspended its prestigious graduate management training scheme as a result of budget cuts made in order to help fund London mayor Sadiq Khan’s fares freeze.

The Evening Standard this week reported that TfL was suspending recruitment for the scheme’s 2018 intake. In a leaked internal email, an unnamed senior TfL figure said that the scheme would be “paused” for a 12 month period.

“There will be no graduate intake for 2018 across the business,” they wrote. “I have absolutely no confidence that the graduate scheme will be restarted in 2019, partly due to the intense budgetary pressure that is really beginning to bite across TfL.”
It continued: “We are constantly told by senior management at TfL that we must do more for less, grow our own talent from within, so it seems that this decision is… short-sighted and will lead to an even larger skills gap.”

The scheme was opened two years ago when 200 graduates were recruited amid concerns about the increasing age profile of TfL management. It had also actively targetted women and minority groups in a bid by TfL for its management profile to better represent that of London.

However, in a statement, TfL said that the suspension of the scheme was “nothing to do” with finance cuts but was part of “reorganisation” measures. A spokesperson told the Evening Standard: “We will continue to encourage more people to pursue a career in transport and realise the opportunities available through our apprenticeship schemes.”

TfL added the scheme would be reviewed in 2018.
This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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