Network Rail launches its 2013 apprenticeship scheme in Bedford

Published on : Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Young people in Bedford are being urged to consider becoming an apprentice with Network Rail as the company launches its 2013 advanced apprenticeship scheme.

A total of seven places are available on the advanced scheme in Bedford to work in an industry which transports millions of people every year and boosts the economy around the region.

“There are many paths to achieve a successful career,” said Martin Frobisher, Network Rail route managing director. “Whether you join straight from school or after college or work, the apprenticeship programme can be the first step to a challenging career.

“An apprenticeship can also open doors to a university education. While many apprentices go on to be team leaders and rise through the ranks, Network Rail also helps those who want to achieve further qualifications the chance to study part-time for a Higher National Certificate in engineering and then onto a foundation degree and a bachelors at Sheffield Hallam University.”

Paul Bavington, a signal and maintenance maintenance engineer, is a successful graduate of the apprenticeship scheme. He said: “The apprenticeship programme will always come highly recommended from me. For apprentices, the most important thing is not to underestimate how big an opportunity this is. We have to make opportunities, and take those that we get.”

For Paul, the key to a successful career is learning from more experienced colleagues.

”There’s infrastructure out there that’s 30 years old, and guys who’ve been working on it for 30 years,” he said. “You’re never going to get that experience, so it’s vital to ensure your relationship with these guys is great. Respect is the key thing.”

Network Rail apprentices spend a year training alongside the Royal Navy at Europe’s largest engineering training facility at HMS Sultan in Hampshire. There they learn both the technical skills required to work on the railway and develop leadership and teamwork behaviours to make them more effective in their roles. For the next two years they learn their trade, working within an experienced team, continuing to return to HMS Sultan regularly for additional courses and training.

Mr Frobisher added: “We need a highly skilled workforce to meet the challenges of a busier network and focus on improving performance and increasing capacity. It makes absolute sense for us to develop the talent we have coming through our apprenticeship scheme to complement our experienced engineers. This pipeline of talent development will help us retain and attract more quality people, which will help us meet the tough challenges ahead to deliver a better value railway for the east of England.”

Source:- Network Rail

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