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Published on : Monday, February 1, 2016
Network Rail is looking to recruit 150 apprentices nationwide as it continues to deliver its £38bn Railway Upgrade Plan. Last year, it received more than 3,500 applications for the scheme. Apprentices will be part of the 20,000-strong orange army of front line engineers and technicians who fix and maintain the rail infrastructure, enabling 1.6 billion journeys every year.
The three-year Advanced Apprenticeship scheme offers young people over the age of 18, a chance to earn while they learn, while gaining valuable work experience, transferable skills and recognised qualifications along the way.
The scheme was launched this week as the Government announced its commitment to 30,000 apprenticeships across the transport sector over the course of this parliament as part of its Transport Skills strategy.
Patrick Buckle joined Network Rail’s apprenticeship scheme in 2014 and is currently training as a track engineer at Bristol Parkway Training Centre, where he is learning how to maintain and repair tracks.
Patrick commented: “I’d definitely recommend this apprenticeship scheme. Not only are you being paid to learn, but as an engineer you can’t beat getting out on the track and seeing first-hand how everything works.
“Not only am I gaining valuable engineering experience and an industry-recognised qualification, but I’ve also got the opportunity to develop my leadership skills, so that in the future I can hopefully take on a management position.”
Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: “Bringing bright, young talent with fresh thinking, enthusiasm and dedication to our 35,000-strong team is a critical part of how we will deliver our Railway Upgrade Plan and make our railway bigger and better as it becomes ever increasingly busy.
“We want talented and capable young people who want a job where you make a difference every single day as we continue to build a better, safer railway for now and for the future.”This September will see the Advanced Apprenticeship scheme move from its naval base at HMS Sultan in Gosport, Hampshire to its modern training and development centre in the West Midlands. Apprentices train in one of five specialist areas: track, signalling, telecoms, electrification and plant or overhead lines. They spend the first five months of the three-year scheme at the West Midlands training centre and then move to their local depots and learn through on-the-job training on the railway’s front line, gaining knowledge and vital skills from experienced team members. This is complemented by additional off-railway learning at our training centres.
More than 2,000 people have joined Network Rail’s Advanced Apprenticeship scheme since 2005. These include school and college leavers as well as those that were unhappy with their jobs, and chose to go back and into training to secure a more stable, long-term career. The majority of those coming through the apprentice scheme also progress their career with Network Rail, with 85% of those who started on the 2005 Apprenticeship Scheme still working for the organisation.