Apprenticeship boost as Network Rail offers 140 new opportunities

Network Rail expands its award winning Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme and pledges to recruit 140 new apprentices to start training in March 2017.

The three-year scheme will now offer 300 young people the chance to “earn while they learn” in 2017. Apprentices will be recruited in two intakes – in March and September – gaining valuable work experience, transferable skills and recognised qualifications.

As well as the 50 per cent increase in the number of opportunities available over the year, Network Rail has moved the Advanced Apprenticeship to a new home at its modern training and development centre near Coventry in the West Midlands. Apprentices will spend the first five months of the three-year scheme at the training centre, specialising in one of five areas:, electrification and plant, overhead lines, signalling, telecoms or track. They then move to their local depots to learn through on-the-job training on the railway’s front line, gaining knowledge and vital skills from experienced team members, complemented by additional off-railway learning throughout the rest of their time on the scheme.

Network Rail has been committed to providing opportunities for young people to develop and progress into a rewarding career for more than ten years. Britain’s railways are one of this country’s success stories and apprentices are a vital part of our 36,000-strong team working to deliver our £40 billion Railway Upgrade Plan to make our railway better and bigger.

I urge anyone that has the determination, talent and enthusiasm to work in a role where you not only make a difference every single day but also contribute to building the railway for the future to join us by applying for the Advanced Apprenticeship scheme today.

Ian Iceton, Network Rail group HR director

Last year, Network Rail received more than 4,000 applications for the Advanced Apprenticeship scheme. Apprentices join the 20,000-strong orange army of front line engineers and technicians who fix and maintain the rail infrastructure, enabling 1.6 billion rail journeys to be made every year. The majority of those coming through the apprentice scheme also progress their career with Network Rail, with 85% of those who started on the scheme in 2005, when it was first launched, still working for the organisation.

I was going to study pharmacology at university but knew there was no guarantee of a job at the end of it so I looked around for other opportunities. I was pointed towards the Network Rail apprenticeship scheme and though I didn’t know much about apprenticeships beforehand, as soon as I did my research I knew that was what I wanted to do.

I’m currently working in my depot and getting to put the theory that I was taught during my first year of the scheme into action. Most of my managers are former apprentices so I can see there is lots of opportunity to progress within the organisation and Network Rail offers so many career paths and opportunities. Joining the Advanced Apprenticeship scheme is the best decision that I’ve ever made.

Hamzah Kola, Network Rail apprentice

The Network Rail Advanced Apprenticeship scheme is open to anyone who is 18 by 1 March 2017. Further details, including cases studies of current and former apprentices talking about their own experiences, can be found on our apprentice pages. The closing date for applications for the March intake of apprentices is Monday 31 October 2016.

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