Friday 14 Oct 2016
Apprenticeship boost as Network Rail offers 140 new opportunities
- Network Rail’s Advanced Apprenticeship scheme to expand by 50 per cent in 2017
- 140 new apprenticeships to be made available across the country in March 2017. Of these, 16 will be to the south and west of London, located across Clapham, Salisbury, Eastleigh and Wimbledon
- Scheme expanded to two apprentice intakes each year in March and September
Network Rail expands its award winning Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme and pledges to recruit 140 new apprentices to start training in March 2017, with 16 places available for young people living to the south and west of London.
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.
Stuart Kistruck, route managing director for Network Rail’s Wessex route said, “We are already in the midst of the largest investment in the railway since the Victorian era, and over the coming years we will be continuing to deliver our Railway Upgrade Plan, including new track, new signalling, longer platforms and better stations. This is a perfect opportunity for anyone with determination, talent and enthusiasm. We can help you to build your career, and you can help us to build tomorrow’s railway.”
Apprentices will spend the first five months of the three-year scheme at Network Rail’s training centre near Coventry, specialising in one of five areas: electrification and plant, overhead lines, signalling, telecoms or track. They then move to their local depots, including sites in Clapham, Salisbury, Eastleigh and Wimbledon, 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.
Alex Stockwell, who is a second-year track maintenance apprentice at Network Rail in Basingstoke said, “Network Rail’s apprenticeship scheme has made me a more confident person and I’m now able to handle the pressures of carrying out essential work that impacts thousands of people in a very short space of time.
“It’s supported my career massively, by making me more independent and giving me the opportunity to learn something new every day.
“No two days are the same, and I want to continue with Network Rail so that I can develop my leadership skills and one day lead my own team.”
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.
The Network Rail Advanced Apprenticeship scheme is open to anyone who is 18 by 1st March 2017. Further details, including cases studies of current and former apprentices talking about their own experiences, can be found on our website: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/apprentices. The closing date for applications for the March intake of apprentices is Monday 31st October 2016.
Notes to editors
- More than 2,000 people have joined Network Rail’s Advanced Apprenticeship scheme since its launch in 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.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.