Network Rail has announced plans to recruit twelve new apprentices across the North East as part of an expansion to its award-winning Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme.
The apprentices will spend their first five months at Network Rail’s modern training facility near Coventry, specialising in one of five areas: electrification and plant, overhead lines, signalling, telecoms or track. They will then return to the region and work at local depots in Birtley, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Morpeth and Newcastle to deliver a bigger, better railway for passengers as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
Sam Collins, 19, from Gateshead joined the Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme in 2015: “After completing my A-levels at Whickham School and Sports College Sixth Form, I decided that I wanted to earn money whilst learning and gain valuable experience, rather than heading off to university and getting into debt. I applied to the Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme as it offers great career opportunities.
“The whole experience was great and was a real learning curve for me. I moved across the country and made lots of new friends, as well as learning plenty of new skills. It’s clear that there are plenty of opportunities to progress within the organisation. I would like to become a team leader, so the career paths which Network Rail offer are perfect for me. I’m so glad I chose Network Rail – it’s an apprenticeship that is well worth doing.”
Network Rail group HR director, Ian Iceton said: “Network Rail has been committed to providing opportunities for young people to develop and progress into a rewarding career for more than ten years. Britain’s railways are one of this country’s success stories and apprentices are a vital part of our 36,000-strong team working to deliver our Railway Upgrade Plan to make our railway better and bigger.
“I urge anyone that has the determination, talent and enthusiasm to work in a role where you not only make a difference every single day but also contribute to building the railway for the future to join us by applying for the Advanced Apprenticeship scheme today.”
Last year, Network Rail received more than 4,000 applications for the Advanced Apprenticeship scheme. Apprentices join the 20,000-strong team of front line engineers and technicians who fix and maintain the rail infrastructure, enabling 1.6 billion rail journeys to be made every year. The majority of those coming through the apprentice scheme also progress their career with Network Rail, with 85% of those who started on the scheme in 2005, when it was first launched, still working for the organisation.
The Network Rail Advanced Apprenticeship scheme is open to anyone who is 18 by 1 March 2017and the closing date for applications for the March intake of apprentices is Monday, 31 October 2016.