Monday 1 Jan 0001

East Mids apprentices needed to join railway revolution


Network Rail is looking for young people from the east midlands to apply for its award winning apprenticeship scheme. The company is seeking 10 new recruits at its maintenance depots in Derby and Grantham to help deliver the billions of pounds being invested in the coming years to provide a bigger, better, more efficient and more reliable railway.

Successful candidates for the three-year scheme will spend their first year at Europe’s largest engineering training facility at HMS Sultan in Hampshire. There apprentices specialise in track, signaling, telecoms and electrification and plant. During their second and third years they earn as they learn on the rail network’s front line, gaining vital experience from experienced teams as they train to become maintenance technicians. Throughout this time they regularly return to HMS Sultan for further courses and training to add to the experience gained on the rail network.

Michelle Palin, who heads up recruitment for the Network Rail scheme, said: “It's a very exciting time to work in rail with huge multi-billion pound projects set to transform the network as we revitalise stations, increase the frequency of trains and make journeys faster, more reliable and greener.

"We need more highly skilled people to help us meet the challenges of a busier network and focus on improving the reliability of the railway and increasing capacity as passenger numbers continue to grow."

Jessica Keers, a 20 year old electrical engineering apprentice based in York said: “I found out about the apprenticeship from a family friend who joined the scheme about four years ahead of me. It sounded like a brilliant opportunity and that he was also having a lot of fun alongside his learning. I really enjoyed my time at the Navy bases in Gosport, gaining independence and growing as a person living away from home.

"At the depot there is so much to learn and so many new people that it is a good atmosphere to come into, with everyone willing to help out as well as good support from my manager. Even after many months doing the job there are still always new things to learn, new faults to fix and that is what keeps the job fresh and very enjoyable. The opportunities which are open to you throughout the scheme are brilliant, including taking part in the Junior Leaders’ Field Gun event two years in a row and I hope to go back and take part again this year.”

The apprenticeship is just the start of the learning programme. Many apprentices go on to be team leaders and managers and take up the opportunity to further their education through Network Rail. Since 2005, Network Rail has trained 1050 apprentices across Britain through the three-year scheme with a further 600 currently still in training.

Ms Palin added: "The scheme offers young people the chance to gain recognised qualifications and expert training, which will not only set them up for a challenging career but also teach them all they need to know to become invaluable members of the Network Rail team. They can be proud to be part of a company which keeps Britain moving and helps four million people and millions of tonnes of freight travel every day.”

Anyone who is 17 by 31 August 2014 can apply via . Applicants will need to provide their home address postcode to see what vacancies are available in their areas as placements in maintenance depots will be allocated on application. Advice and information is provided on the Facebook page including videos and case studies of current and former apprentices, talking about their own experiences on the scheme.

VIDEO: See what women who have been through the apprenticeship scheme have to say about it:

Notes to editors

Qualifications required:
To apply for an apprenticeship, you need to be 17 by 31st August 2014. This is to ensure we comply with health and safety requirements and regulations around shift patterns and working at night for under-18s. There is no upper age limit for the programme. We require a minimum of four GCSEs A-C / four Scottish Standard 1-3, or equivalent. These have to include English, maths and science or engineering. We’ll accept a relevant BTEC / NVQ level 2 and above to replace science or engineering.

About the Network Rail advanced apprenticeship scheme:
It is a three-year programme that equips you with the skills and experience to become a maintenance engineering technician.

There are five engineering programmes: track, signals, electrification and plant, signal design and telecoms. Each one gives you the chance to work in a critical area of the business, where your development will continue beyond the three years of the scheme.

Paid learning:
In the first year, apprentices will be paid £8,400 + £1,150 when they successfully finish the year; the salary will rise to £11,750 in the second; and £14,000 in the third.

In the first year, Network Rail will also feed, pay for accommodation and provide the clothing and personal protective equipment that they need. There are plenty of holidays: 28 days plus bank holidays. Network Rail will pay for apprentices to travel home for long weekends and Christmas, Easter and summer holidays.

After three years, apprentices will have the qualifications (NVQ, BTec and ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management)) and skills to develop a long-term career with Network Rail. Many apprentices complete their first year and soon start to think about their career options – and many set their sights on becoming technical officers, team leaders or managers. There are even further opportunities to study a foundation degree for those who demonstrate the commitment and ability.

Contact information

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

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Network Rail press office -London North Eastern & East Midlands route
01904 383180

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.

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