1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am currently an apprentice in my first year of training. The first year consists of mostly classroom based learning and some practical elements to achieve our BTEC and NVQ qualifications. We also undertake an ILM (leadership) qualification. When I finish the first year in June I will move to my depot and begin to do the job that has been designated for me when I finish the 3 years.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
As mentioned I will gain a BTEC level 3 this year and this will be in Railway Engineering. I will also achieve my NVQ level 2 in engineering operations which will eventually become level 3 after my 3rd year of the apprenticeship. I also will achieve ILM level 2 this year which will become level 3 at the end of my apprenticeship. This has also given me exposure to leading a team and developed my confidence in doing so.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Overall I have found the course useful and enjoyable although a little slow paced at times. I feel everything I have learned will be relevant when I begin my job and will help me to progress.
4. How valued do you feel by Network Rail?
I personally feel highly valued. My manager after I complete my first year has taken a great interest in me as an apprentice and wants to develop me at every opportunity. I am very much looking forward to starting.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The course is mostly well structured and we are given plenty of time to complete all work although as mentioned this can be slow paced at times. We also are designated an apprentice support officer which we have regular one to ones with to talk about progress and any other issues for example residential (as we live away during this year).
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Generally they will do their best to help you achieve the grades that you want to and a number of them do go out of their way to help you where they can. Overall I feel well supported by my training provider.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
There are a number of support networks in place by my employer and so far I have had no issues that cannot be resolved. Overall the support is good.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My costs are completely covered as during the first year my accommodation and food is paid for. Therefore everything I earn I am free to use how I wish.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes a number of opportunities have been given to us to get involved with sports and charitable events outside of work. I have made use of these where possible.
9a. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I believe my company offers a good career and I would encourage any of my friends to join, especially to those who have gone to university as I feel my apprenticeship is a much better way into the working world.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail? *
Make sure you research the company in advance as they will ask you a lot of questions regarding this and also the apprenticeship itself. Make it clear that you are interested in a career and you should have no problems.
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