Apprenticeship boost as Network Rail offers 140 new opportunities: Apprentices on the learning track 001

Friday 14 Oct 2016

Apprenticeship boost as Network Rail offers 140 new opportunities

South East
  • 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: 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.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Wessex Route
07710 959476

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Every day, there are more than 4.7 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

We are building a better railway for a better Britain.

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