Network Rail’s Western route on the hunt for new apprentices: apprentices-on-track

Tuesday 21 Feb 2017

Network Rail’s Western route on the hunt for new apprentices


Network Rail’s Western route is on the hunt for 43 new apprentices for its award-winning engineering apprenticeship scheme for September’s intake.

The Western route will benefit from more of Network Rail’s advanced apprenticeship scheme placements than any other route, with 43 placements available to budding engineers across the south and south-west for this September’s intake.

Network Rail are currently undertaking the biggest investment on the Western route since the Victorian era, upgrading signalling to improve reliability, paving the way for bigger, faster and greener electric trains with The Greater West electrification programme and taking on the biggest engineering project in Europe with the construction of Crossrail.

The latest round of Network Rail’s apprenticeship scheme opened to applications last month for the September 2017 intake, offering a fantastic opportunity for young people and those looking for a career change to earn whilst learning, gain valuable qualifications and skills and build a career in engineering.

Apprentices complete the first 20 weeks of the scheme living and learning at Network Rail’s Westwood training centre in the West Midlands, partaking in a mix of academic work and hands-on practical experience.

At Westwood, apprentices benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and bespoke engineering training equipment to further their development, as well as a fitness centre, swimming pool and other recreational facilities.

Apprentices then join the team at a local distribution unit to learn and gain experience from experts in their field, as well as completing various technical and leadership training modules at Network Rail engineering training centres around the country to prepare for a career at the top of their profession.

For this intake, apprenticeship opportunities on the Western route based at distribution units in Reading, Bristol, Didcot, Truro, Newbury, Par, Plympton, Gloucester and Westbury are available.

Apprentices are guaranteed a job upon completion of the three-year course and more than four in five (83%) of those who started on the scheme a decade ago are still working for the organisation today.

Network Rail’s apprenticeship scheme also has a far higher retention rate than the national average for engineering. 75% of those that complete the scheme choose to go into employment with Network Rail, compared to the national average for engineering of 55%.

Network Rail’s Western route managing director Mark Langman, who began his career in the rail industry as an apprentice in 1986, said: “Our advanced apprenticeship scheme is a great source of pride for everyone here at Network Rail.

“The scheme has provided a springboard to many successful careers in the rail industry and provides a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the historic work we are undertaking on the Western route to modernise Brunel’s railway as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.

 “As part of the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy, we are committed to growing gender and ethnic diversity in our early entrant programmes and we welcome and encourage applications from all backgrounds.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of the Western route team, and I look forward to welcoming our new apprentices to the route in September.”

To find out more and apply for Network Rail’s advance apprenticeship scheme, visit:

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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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