Tuesday 20 Feb 2007


Region & Route:
Eastern: Anglia
| Eastern
Up to 62 new recruits are being sought in Anglia and the South East by Network Rail for its industry-leading advanced apprenticeship scheme. Now in its third year, the programme will take on 240 aspiring engineers nationally. For the first time, in 2007, Network Rail will also be training telecoms specialists, alongside the existing disciplines of track, signalling and electrification and plant. The scheme, which is amongst the largest of its type in the UK, represents a five-year, £30m investment by Network Rail to train its talent of tomorrow. Iain Coucher, Network Rail's Deputy Chief Executive, said: "This world class scheme has proved extremely popular in its first two years. Network Rail's significant investment in the programme underlines our commitment to developing our future talent." In the first year of their course, the apprentices will be trained in Portsmouth at the Royal Navy's historic HMS Sultan and accommodated 'next door' at HMS Collingwood. HMS Sultan is Europe's largest engineering training centre whilst HMS Collingwood boasts bespoke facilities, including: fully refurbished accommodation, a swimming pool, football, tennis and squash amenities. The apprentices will be taught by the very best trainers from Network Rail, and Flagship Training Ltd, and will 'earn as they learn', being paid £9,000 in their first year rising to £13,000 by year three. The initial course of study will give the apprentices a solid background in engineering, leading to attainment of NVQs at level 2 and 3, and a BTEC National Award technical certificate. Network Rail staff, delivering a range of rail-specific training, will teach the second and third years of the course. This will help to fulfil Network Rail's strategy of standardising its employees' set of competencies and standards.

Notes to editors

Applicants can apply for the advanced apprentices' scheme online at: www.everydaybrilliance.co.uk They will need four GCSEs at grade A-C or above, or four Scottish Standard grades 1-3 (or the equivalent) including English, Maths and Science. Then, if Network Rail thinks they have got the right skills, they'll invite applicants to a selection day. These will run from March to May 2007 and will be held at a major town or city in the region. At this event, Network Rail will measure their mechanical and technical understanding as well as look at numeracy skills. Applicants will also take part in a group exercise to ensure they have the right personal qualities for a career with Network Rail. If successful at the selection day, Network Rail will call applicants for a final interview. There will also be a medical and a drugs and alcohol screening. Pass those and applicants will then be offered a place on the Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme. Before starting, there will be the chance to spend a day at HMS Sultan and HMS Collingwood in July and August to see the facilities and meet the team.

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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.

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