Published on : Friday, June 27, 2014
More than 200 apprentices have joined railway maintenance teams across Britain to start their on-the-job training after successfully completing the first year of the Network Rail Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme.
Joe Milne, 19, is from Hilton in Somerset and is one of 36 apprentices that have joined depots across the West. Joe will be working with the telecoms team based in Bristol. ”My cousin did the apprenticeship and is now working as a signaller. I was attracted to the scheme as it has really good career prospects,“ he said.
“I’ll be 21 when I graduate and on a good wage, more than I’d be able to get anywhere else. Unlike my friends at university, I’m not getting into debt and I can still do a degree at the end.”
The first year of Network Rail’s award-winning three-year scheme is spent at Europe’s largest engineering training facility at HMS Sultan in Hampshire. There apprentices specialise in track, signalling, telecoms and electrification and plant. During their second and third years they experience work on the rail network’s front line, gaining vital experience as they train to become maintenance technicians. Throughout this time they regularly return to HMS Sultan for further courses and training.
Neal Lawson, maintenance and operations services director at Network Rail said: “We are committed to building a better railway for Britain and we need a highly skilled workforce to help us meet that challenge. By developing the talented and enthusiastic people that come through our apprenticeship scheme we can help create a workforce that will be vital to our future success. I wish Joe and all his fellow apprentices good luck as they join their new teams to continue their training out on the network.”
Network Rail’s Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme is open to applicants over 17 years of age and has no upper age limit. Apprentices come from all over the nation and range from those who have just left school or college to those changing careers. All share an interest in engineering. As Chris Hinde, a 35-year-old apprentice from Preston says: “I was unhappy in the job that I was doing where I was stuck behind a desk, but I thought that I couldn’t do anything else because of my age. I have a three-year-old daughter so it’s been hard moving away from home but this has given me a second chance. I’m confident that I’ll never get bored at work again”.
Source:- Network Rail