The IT Factor: Network Rail launches Diverse IT competition to showcase careers for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates: NR data science

Tuesday 12 Oct 2021

The IT Factor: Network Rail launches Diverse IT competition to showcase careers for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates

Region & Route:

Network Rail has launched a competition to highlight some of the exciting Information Technology careers available at the organisation, and in the wider rail industry, to young people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Announced during Black History Month, it is hoped that the competition will encourage more young people from minority ethnic backgrounds to consider a career in IT, STEM areas more widely, and in the rail industry – all of which are currently under-represented by BAME employees. At Network Rail, just under 10% (9.38%) of employees are from BAME backgrounds.

The competition challenges young people to use their creative and technical skills to invent something new or innovative. They will be asked to think about how their idea would be used, what its purpose would be, who would use it, how to make it safe and secure, and how technology would bring it to life.

Prizes include IT equipment, including brand new Windows 10 laptops, work experience days, and mentoring from IT professionals. One overall winner will be invited to apply with a recommendation for Network Rail’s IT Apprenticeship scheme. No places on the scheme can be guaranteed, but they will receive support from a mentor throughout the application process.

Maureen Parris, Network Rail’s enterprise architect, said: “We know that people from minority ethnic backgrounds are under-represented in our business, and in STEM fields such as IT. We hope this competition will encourage more young people from those backgrounds to consider IT in the railway as an exciting and worthwhile career.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the submissions, and I’m sure we’ll get lots of creative and innovative ideas.”

To enter, candidates must be between 16-18 years of age and live within a 40-mile radius of Network Rail’s Milton Keynes office – Q:MK, Elder Gate, MK9 1EN. In partnership with their school or college, candidates should email their submission to All entries must include your name, email address, postal address (including postcode), and telephone number.

Notes to editors

  • All entries must be submitted by 5 November 2021. We will notify all winners by email and will let schools/colleges and teachers know as well. Winners will also be announced on our website.
  • All applicants must be able to attend Network Rail’s Diverse IT day on 9 December 2021.
  • Full terms and conditions can be found on the Network Rail website.
  • Network Rail is working to increase the number of BAME employees and create a more inclusive and diverse workforce. Its Race Matters initiative has set a target to reach 13% by the end of the current Control Period in 2024, with a particular focus on leadership positions.

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Jack Harvey

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.

Usually, there are almost five 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.

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