1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Tidying the depot, helping each dicipline on placements to carry out work almost as much as operatives and technicians but at an apprentice rate. Cheap labour and being exploited most of the time.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
4. How valued do you feel by Network Rail?
Very unvalued and unappreciated. A lot of efforts have gone unnoticed.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
We have to organise nearly everything ourselves and no one cares where you are.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Unless you ask then none and even then it seems like you are a burden. There are some decent individuals you can learn a lot from.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Next to none. Not once have I been asked if I needed help with my coursework. Apart from my old line manager and engineer. Once I moved depots I received nothing.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Horrendous. I'm 26 and still live at home and there is no way I could support myself in London on the apprentice wage. Not even on the 3rd year money. We are capped on overtime and we do not receive 12 hours for shifts that the technicians receive. Even though you work just as hard if not harder. Also the rate is laughable. £75 for 10 hours. The best way to learn is through overtime and yet you end up having to work for free. Outrageous really when you think about it.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
With the c&g2394 that I have received through working hard to make sure I pass it. I could leave and start my own electrical company as I have many years prior to the apprenticeship and took myself to college to receive electrical installation as well. However you have to stay at network rail for at least a year even if their is no job to offer you. As they can be offered to people externally. Without having to do an apprenticeship which is obviously very disheartening. Otherwise you have to pay for the courses you have been put on. Regardless of the two and a half years of your life you have just given them.
9a. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
You are treated like you're an idiot. I have been been belittled and patronised way too often as an apprentice. I joined this apprenticeship a very competent electrician and I am now finishing feeling like I am incapable of working on my own. Mainly due to a lack of experience provided. I am actually considering going back to electrical installation.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail? *
Think twice. If you're a hardworking, driven and motivated individual then apply for network rail vacancies directly. Don't waste your time on an apprenticeship that may leave you feeling like you wish you hadn't bothered.
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