1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Due to working on the railway, day to day tasks can vary. I have many different locations i go to and an assortment of work placements i have to complete. When working out on track, i tend to go out with a team in which we travel all around the south to complete maintenance jobs. It can get repetitive but its something i genuinely enjoy. I am working towards being a technician.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learn plenty of new skills since i started working on the railway. As a person, im very practical and prefer to be working outside rather than being stuck inside on the computer. The first year we spent dong internal training on a navy base, in Portsmouth. Here we studied engineering related classes, that helped us when we got to our depots.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I do enjoy the program a lot. The first year was hard living away from my family and friends, but now im back in my home town at a depot that luckily is just 10 minutes from my house.
4. How valued do you feel by Network Rail?
Being such a big company that employs so many apprentices a year, its hard to feel completely valued. Especially when your learning still. But i do feel like my work is needed at the depot as time has gone on and my skill level has increased.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The first year was very structured, basically everything was pre sorted for us. The second and third years are more down to us, in which we sort our own placements. We have courses where we go back down to Portsmouth for 2 weeks at a time. Here we learn skills that are very valuable on the railway. This will boost us up for when we apply for jobs.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
As everything is internal and we don't really have a training provider in the second and third years there isn't a huge amount. In the first year, the company Babcock trained us, and they where pretty good.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As we are based in depots we really go about our own agenda. However we do have line managers that help us out when we need it. Network rail staff do the courses when we go back down to Portsmouth for our training courses.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Network Rail are very fair in how they pay us. It is only an apprenticeship and they do pay for all our accommodation in the first year. I am only 20 years old so living at home keeps the costs down. However if your where living in your own place i could imagine it to be quite a struggle.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
As we work in depots, there are Christmas do's etc. We do go out as a team sometimes. But other than that i wouldn't say i have many things to do outside of when i go home. They do have a Network rail football team that you can join if you so wish.
9a. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Its a very good company to work for it you treat them with respect. The apprenticeship scheme has been going on for 10+ years ad has made people very successful. So if you put the work in then you could do very well.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail? *
Make sure you have an interest in the railway or at least enjoy practical/ manual work. There is 200 or so places so there is good chance of getting in. However i think there is around 15000 people that apply. It would be good to have some sort of engineering experience.
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