Network Rail upping apprentice intake 50%

Rail apprentices

Network Rail is expanding its award winning Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme to recruit 140 new apprentices to start their training in March 2017 – a 50% increase. According to NR this means that 300 young people will be able to "earn while they learn" in 2017, including those already on the rail infrastructure owner's three-year apprenticeship scheme.

Route managing director for Network Rail’s Wessex route, Stuart Kistruck, 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.”

Apprentices spend the first five months of their training at Network Rail’s Coventry training centre, specialising in either electrification and plant, overhead lines, signalling, telecoms or track. They then move to local depots, including sites in Clapham, Salisbury, Eastleigh and Wimbledon, to learn through supervised training on site.

“Network Rail’s apprenticeship scheme has made me a more confident person. It’s supported my career massively, by making me more independent and giving me the opportunity to learn something new every day.," said Alex Stockwell, a second-year track maintenance apprentice at Network Rail in Basingstoke.

The majority of those coming through the apprentice scheme progress their career with Network Rail, it says, with 85% of those who started on the scheme in 2005, when it was first launched, still working for the organisation.