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Published on : Thursday, January 28, 2016
Job seekers are encouraged to apply early as Network Rail’s popular and award-winning Advanced Apprenticeship scheme opens for applications. 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 today 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.
Katie Tingle completed Network Rail’s apprenticeship scheme in 2012. Katie and her team of 11 are responsible for running the newest Mobile Maintenance Train (MMT) or “workshop on wheels”, which is revolutionising the way in which track maintenance is carried out, out of Derby. The MMT‘s key feature is that it allows workers to operate within an enclosed environment protecting them from the elements and other trains and allowing engineering work to take place without having to close the whole line.
Katie commented: “Joining the Network Rail apprenticeship scheme was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Not only did I get paid to learn, I now have a career that I love. I’ve been given so many opportunities, and bringing this new, ground breaking piece of machinery to my home town depot is one of the highlights.
“An apprenticeship can give you a lot of extra life skills as well as just the specific expertise you set out to learn, for example I’ve learned how to budget and manage teams. You’ll gain knowledge you’ll be able to use wherever you end up. I would advise anyone who wants a rewarding career, and the skills and qualifications you need to get on to sign up. You won’t regret it.”
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.”Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Transport doesn’t just help people get around, it helps them get on. Our record investment is creating thousands of high quality careers across the country, many of which require Britain’s best minds.
“We need apprentices to deliver our world class infrastructure system and plan to create 30,000 apprenticeships in the rail and road sector by 2020. We’ll be writing new apprenticeship targets into contracts for suppliers and have also got agreement from employers on stretching new goals to encourage more women to consider careers in the industry. I hope that people across the country take advantage of this fantastic opportunity with Network Rail.”
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.