Rare railway opportunity for Wigan students

Published on : Monday, June 13, 2016

5b6d0cb4c4304eb9977438818be1aadd-300x194Students from Wigan are being offered a unique chance to forge a career in the rail industry.

From this September up to 10 students who enrol onto an engineering course at Wigan University Technical College will also begin a two-year work experience placement with Network Rail.

This is a Wigan UTC and Network Rail first. If this pilot is successful the company will seek to take on more Wigan UTC students in the following year, with the possibility of extending the scheme to other schools and colleges.


The location, Wigan, could not be more relevant as several billion pounds of railway upgrades are taking place in the north now and over the coming years.

Tina Purkis, head of human resources for Network Rail’s London North Western route, from Euston to Carlisle, said: “Our new partnership with Wigan UTC aims to enrich the selected students’ educations and inspire them to pursue a career in the railway. With forecast demand for rail travel set to double in the next 20 years, having doubled over the previous 20, there has never been a more exciting time to join this industry. This work experience scheme is an invaluable opportunity for young people with creativity and ambition.”



Students who wish to enrol with Wigan UTC on this course from this September will undertake work experience at Network Rail for two days of each week, and will study at Wigan UTC for a level 3 engineering qualification for the rest of the week.


The students can decide which area of Network Rail’s London North Western business they want to be placed in:
Works Delivery: carrying out an annual work bank of £170m, including track and signalling renewals and conversions and safety-critical lineside vegetation management work.

Maintenance: running a safe, reliable railway by making sure tracks and other infrastructure are kept in good order and repaired quickly when needed.
Route Asset Management: engineering teams responsible for optimising the working life of railway against a well-planned asset strategy.


Elaine Delahunt, head of college for Wigan UTC, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people in the borough. The chance to combine a high-quality technical education with an employer-led long-term work placement, which is linked to their college studies, will provide them with the foundations towards a fantastic career. As a UTC we pride ourselves on the mix of academic, technical and work-related experience we provide all of our students, and this course enhances the offer we have for students”.


Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan, added: “This is a great opportunity for students in Wigan to gain valuable experience and take the first steps towards a rewarding career. Railways are an integral part of Wigan’s history and it is important that this industry continues to provide a bright future for generations to come.”


The Wigan work experience scheme will sit alongside Network Rail’s existing apprenticeship and graduate programmes.

Source:- Network Rail

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