Yorkshire apprentices needed to join railway revolution

Network Rail - LOGO
Network Rail - LOGO

Doncaster youngsters are being urged to come forward and sign up to Network Rail’s award winning apprenticeship scheme.

The company is seeking 15 new recruits at its maintenance depots in Leeds, Doncaster and York 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 www.facebook.com/ontrack . 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.