1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a trainee track engineer and in my first year I do various short courses from surveying to maintaining mechanical devices. Other units are maths, bench fitting and mechanical principles. Once a week we do personal development and leadership skills.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed a better understanding of applied mathematics and I also have gained a basic knowledge of the railway and my job role. I also have learned how to perform metal work which is a new skill.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have enjoyed living away from home and making new friends. Although the course can be slightly boring at times it has taught me new skills that I can take into the second and third years at my depot.
4. How valued do you feel by Network Rail?
I feel quite valued and I am reminded daily that we as apprentices are the future of the company. I believe network rail has invested a sizeable sum of money in my training so it shows that they value me.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It is reasonably organised although some units are drawn out which leaves us sitting around with nothing to do. Sometimes the units are split up by several months which is then difficult to pick it up again.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Due to babcocks discontinuation at the training facility it has seen lots of instructors leave the company which has impacted the support we receive. Though the support we receive is to a good standard.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Network rail has supported me all the way through my first year and was especially supportive in our preparations for our personal track safety exam. Our first year manager isn't very supportive though.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Due to living away from home network rail pays for our accommodation, food and transport so the wage I receive is adequate to meet my costs and it is to improve as the apprenticeship goes on.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes there are lots of extra carricular things to do plus network rail will support you if you decide to do anything for charity by putting money towards any sponsors you get.
9a. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Although the first year is quite difficult the opportunities that the apprenticeship open up are endless and the qualifications we receive are second to none. Working on the railway is a good career and the apprenticeship is the perfect way to prepare you.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail? *
When applying just be honest and really sell yourself. They want people who are practically mined and want to better themselves. If you get to the interview stage and are on the team task just get involved and be vocal and assertive.
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