1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
High Output Apprentice
First year is spent completing the BTEC Level 3 at the engineering academy. We do Health & Safety, Mechanical Systems, Mechanical Principles, Mathematics, Permanent Way, Surveying and Materials as well as 4 functional skills and an NVQ level 2.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned a lot of new skills specifically based within engineering which are very useful. I have also learned things not specific to my job but which can help me if I wanted to chose a different career path. The leadership qualification we gain is very useful and provides us with leaderships skills which are crucial in the modern working environment.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy both the practical and coursework aspect of the BTEC and NVQ qualifications and I especially enjoy the leadership tasks which we must complete to gain the ILM level 3.
4. How valued do you feel by Network Rail?
Although it seems we are in a college environment we are still treat like full employees by the manager which makes us feel values to the company. Also there is emphasis on saying we are the future of the company which makes us feel important and needed.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme flows well and there is plenty to do academically as well as out of hours activities. Regular team sports events take place as teamwork is a core behaviour of the company.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
All of the instructors are willing to help whenever you need it. The want you to pass so they will do as much in their power to be able to get you through the first year. Things like resits and catch up lessons are put on for those who may be struggling so I would say the training provider support us well.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The team in the office are always very friendly and can help you with any problems you may have that isn't academic work. There is always someone in the office when we are at work.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Since we live away from home for the first year and do not have to pay for anything we need then the salary is good. It could be better but it rises in the second and third year as well as receiving a end of year 1 bonus if yo87u complete the course. Things like meals and accommodation are paid for so really the salary is quite good considering you do not have to spend it on anything you don't need.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes, there are facilities like a swimming pool, 24 hour gyms and astro-turfs. All of these are free to use and are advised to be used to help keep fit for what could be a physically demanding job. Also there are regular sports events and recreational activities put on by the residential staff.
9a. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
It is a great engineering apprenticeship with a company that values you. There is also opportunity for promotion immediately after the apprenticeship if you are good enough and you can have a long and rewarding working life with them.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail? *
Have a good sound engineering knowledge and maybe read up on some of the things network rail have done so you know what you are signing up to do. When having interviews and assessment days make sure you look at the core values of the company and demonstrate that you can use these as these values are one thing which network rail rate highly.
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