East Midlands Railway (EMR) is now recruiting the engineers of the future, offering opportunities for people from across the East Midlands to ‘learn on the job’ while also expanding the rail industry’s skills base.
The East Midlands based rail operator is looking for apprentices to join its busy Fleet Engineering Team, working at its maintenance depots in Derby and Nottingham.
The Engineering Apprentices will help a team of over 250 maintenance staff to look after the fleet of more than 100 trains, operating on services to London and right across the East Midlands, providing safe, reliable and clean trains for passengers.
The EMR Fleet Apprenticeship Programme offers the chance to gain valuable qualifications and practical on the job training whilst working for one of the UK’s Top Employers and earning a salary at the same time.
The apprentices will be trained to Level Three standard. They will be taught in-depth electrical and mechanical engineering as well as having practical experience and a host of other tasks that keep East Midlands Railway on the right track. They will gain the skills necessary to support a long and interesting career in the EMR Fleet Engineering Team.
EMR asked three Fleet Apprentices what it’s like to work as for EMR.
Mason Johnson, a year three EMR Fleet Engineer Apprentice said: “You gain a good understanding and versatility within an engineering environment by conducting tasks which test your mechanical and electrical abilities.
“Not one day is the same within our depots, we come across planned maintenance, repair work, test runs and preparation of our 15x units prior to them going out into service.
“You will get to know the different shift teams you work with and become close to them along the way.
“Overall being an apprentice at EMR has been a great experience for me and taught me lots about engineering both electrically and mechanically.”
Ellie Nugent, a year two EMR Fleet Engineer Apprentice said: “A typical day starts at either 05:00 or 06:00 depending on the shift time. I get to work, and I will do any jobs that have been allocated for that day. After work, I shower and head home for about 16:00. I then start doing my college work and revising for any assignments we have. I do this on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well.
“On Tuesdays, we have online lessons that start at 08:45 and finish at 12:30. I will then start any assignments that are set, as we usually have one from each of the three lessons.
“On Fridays, I aim to finish the assignments that were set for the week.”
George Wilkinson, a third year EMR Fleet Engineer Apprentice who is currently taking his exams, explained what a typical day for him looks like, he said: “I am at work for 05:45 and around 06:00, we have a coffee in the mess room whereby the team leader will brief us about what vehicle we are working on, and any specific jobs required for that day. We are currently working on the 15x fleet, which encompasses the 153 (single car) 156, and 158 which are double cars.
“The exam work is based on pre-planned, preventative maintenance, and as a team of seven we will work through the exam job sheet to make sure all jobs are done to a high standard and are accounted for. The work itself is varied and what jobs you work on will change every day. For example, on Monday you may be measuring wheels, and changing brake blocks / pads, and on Friday you could be completing an earth fault test and re-wiring a lighting system.
“Alternatively, on days where there isn’t an exam planned, we will be working on other vehicles, conducting work such as an engine change, radiator swap or dropping and changing a (Voith) gearbox, which is heavier maintenance.
“At roughly, 14:00-14:30 we will get de-kitted, have a shower and get ready to go home.”
Kate Holden, HR Director for EMR said: “Our Fleet Engineer Apprentices are our future talent. They bring diversity of experience and thought, new ideas and a fresh approach that helps to drive our business forward.
“We offer a four -year programme designed to give practical on the job training. The work involves time in our Fleet Engineering depots, and the classroom helping to give them all the underpinning knowledge they need to be successful in their apprenticeship.
“We are committed to providing top class programmes that will equip them with the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to reach their full potential.”
EMR will be going through some significant changes over the next few years and its fleet renewal is at the heart of their £600 million investment programme and it is an exciting time to join the railway.
Photo credit: East Midlands Railway