Three apprentices have described what it is like working on the railway front line as one of Network Rail’s engineers, to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week.
Network Rail apprentices work at depots across the region, specialising in areas such as electrical engineering, overhead lines, distribution and plant, telecoms, signalling and off-track. Three of them have come together to give an insight into what life is like helping thousands of people to travel all over the country every day.
Paul Adoeye works at Cheshunt in Hertfordshire and specialises in electrical engineering. He joined the scheme for the practical experience. He said: “I wanted to get hands on, in-depth experience and training to gain the right skills in a real work environment. I feel that employers want people with the practical experience.”
Paul liked trains as a child and wanted to work for an industry that he was passionate about where like-minded people could coach him. He said: “I enjoy working alongside experienced engineers who went through the apprenticeship scheme like myself and I also appreciate the first-hand and direct training I am gaining as it is gradually improving my confidence in the work environment.”
Ewan Bardsley works at Trowse in Norwich and specialises in distribution and plant. He said: “I was looking for a well-structured and resourced apprenticeship scheme that offered me a subsequent lifelong, challenging and fulfilling career.
So far, he’s enjoying working in the north of the region where no two days are the same. He said: “I enjoy my work because of the variety of tasks I undertake and the different locations that I complete them in.”
Ethan Kyiet also specialises in distribution and plant and will be based at Cheshunt once he is out on track. He said: “So far the apprenticeship has been great. The support from scheme managers and tutors has been fantastic and the support sessions have been great at helping me get my head around some of the questions in the assignments. Everyone seems very friendly and I look forward to eventually meeting the others in my class face to face.”
Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director said: “Apprentices are so important to the business and we get as much from them as they do from us. The scheme offers a great opportunity to gain valuable paid work experience, transferable skills and recognised qualifications in one of Britain’s most exciting industries. We are carrying out huge improvements in this region, so there are plenty of projects for budding engineers to get stuck in to.”
There are currently around 60 level three engineering apprentices across the Anglia route and an additional 23 who completed their scheme in 2020. The three-year long programme begins with initial technical training where apprentices learn the essentials of their role, including safety practices. They are then placed in various disciplines including, electrical and plant, distribution and plant, telecoms, overhead lines, signalling, track and off-track – wherever their interest lies.
Network Rail has also been recognised as one of the top 20 apprentice employers in England in the National Apprenticeship Service’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers for 2020.
To find out more and apply for Network Rail’s advance apprenticeship scheme, visit: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/careers/apprenticeships/
Photo credit: Network Rail