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Published on : Thursday, October 13, 2016
Network Rail pledges to recruit an extra 140 new apprentices to its award-winning Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme, with 24 places available across Anglia.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 – and will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, transferable skills and recognised qualifications.
The apprentices will spend their first five months at Network Rail’s modern training facility near Coventry, 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 group HR director, Ian Iceton said: “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.”
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.
Mohammed Isa, 20, from East London, joined the Advanced Apprenticeship scheme in September 2015: “I did A-Levels in economics and business accounting and my cousin suggested that I apply for an apprenticeship. I’ve always liked engineering so applied to Network Rail. I was glad I was accepted as it allowed me to finish my A-Levels. There are four ex-apprentices working at my depot so it gives me hope that there are opportunities once I have got my apprenticeship. My ambition is to be a team leader or assistant team leader and maybe do a degree.”