1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
In the first year of the apprenticeship this year, we don't have anything to do with the railway apart from a minimum of two week inductions you do with network rail staff. That is when you learn a bit more about what you will be doing in the second and third years. So far our day to day work consists of use being taught in a class room to gain our level 3 BTEC and level NVQn performing engineering operations.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have gained a NVQ performing engineering operations and half way through nearly finishing of my BTEC in engineering. You also complete a course in Personal track safety which allows you go get a sentinel card and go out on track. I have gained some knowledge in what i will be doing and some terminology but more of that will come to me in years two and three.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have really enjoyed the programme so far and i would recommend it to any of my friends to apply for. And give it a go to be one of 200 apprentices on the scheme and when there was around 8000 applications in the first place. So its quite an achievement to be one of that many.The only bad things that i haven't enjoyed on this programme is the food that has being served sometimes its okay and others its really bad.
4. How valued do you feel by Network Rail?
I have emailed my manager who is in year two and three. But we don't get much involvement down in Gosport till we have finished the first year. Thats in year two and three when we get out there with network rail staff and get working i think i will feel more valued by network rail. I think network rail are valuing use for the future.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The majority of the programme is well strutted until its coming to the end of the scheme where we as a class have had no assignments for the lat three months after christmas and now we have come back from easter break and there is our last lessons for the btec and we haven't started any of them yet so we are getting all the assignments at once.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Yes we receive a lot of support from our training provider in the lesson once they have taught use it, we can ask questions if we are unsure on what we are doing for the assignment and also if we need any more help after the course is finished, we can go and speak to them if your still struggling.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
We don't really receive any support on the academic side of things but if we need to know anything about how to change over things, e.g. banking details to get pay put in, that support is there, if we need it. But they don't play a major part in the first year as a company its the training provider Babcock Engineering academy, who give us the most support.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
As we have been put in to accommodation and they pay for three meals a day for us to have,the salary is good in terms of if we were living somewhere else where we had to pay to travel to and from every day. Pay for food 3 times a day and any accommodation.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes there are many opportunities outside of work, as on the site we are living at there is a range of sport facilities ranging from a gym to sports field to an astro turf where you can play different sports, you just suggest them and they will be put on. Also they do house sport events where you have a competition between the different houses, to win pints. Also a big favourite is to take part in the southampton half marathon and 10k.
9a. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
As it is a great company to get into and with all the future projects that are up and coming. There is always going to the be the need for the railway engineers, so there will be always a job for you to be doing. And its so easy for you progress through the company if you want to become management, and gain more experience through your job.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail? *
Take your time when applying make sure you have answered every question to its full and don't lie as they will check the information. When applying for the apprenticeship scheme, make sure you do your research on the company and key information on the scheme, as if you get that far through after the online assessments you have to complete there will be a telephone interview and there will be key questions asked. After that then you go through to an assessment day, and all i say when the group activates go on don't be to forward but at the same time don't be laid back keeping quiet.
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