1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am currently in my first year, and so far the units I have been taught cover some relevant. Additionally, you will meet new people, due to the first year being away from home. Sadly, if you are boisterous you may not fit into the cohort. So it's to each their own. As for a normal day running, you are provided 3 meals a day at fixed times. And the bus leaves at 7.50am after breakfast. You'll then enter a classroom or workshop depending if you are doing a BTEC unit or a NVQ in the workshops, you are delivered the content. over 6 BTEC units, some NVQs and Functional skills; and given the assignment. Passes and most Merits can be done in class time, with distinction obtainable afterwards. With the contract change there was problems towards the end with instructors leave having a negative impact on my learning towards the end. I hindsight this will have minimal impact on future.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Gained some practical skills in the maintenance of the railway mainly given in track induction but the BTEC side needs a greater practical element. Surveying and Mechanical system units do help, this only covers the first year only.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
It's currently ok, I personally just get the work done and Steer clear of the social side, as a result I have more money to spend on food, since the food given by the Contractors is horrid.
4. How valued do you feel by Network Rail?
Personally, I think they only care for the stats behind maintaining apprentices, which is the motive for the effort; Rather than meeting their needs, any past experience is not taken into account. But rather you are positioned in relation to a tick box exercise. The good news is that you have to do something crazy to get discarded; nonetheless, if you do your work, and play according to what they need to fill the job role present in 3 years time. You will be looking to a fruitful career within the company.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It seemed Structured for the first few month, but since the contract announcement and the expected job losses from the contractor delivering the first year. It has been a bit of a chaotic finish.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
They are always willing to help, when they can and provide guidance if your struggling. They offer support in their own time and in class.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Currently minimal, but they don't play a huge role during the first year. I expect this to improve as the years go by as a result, the rating is neutral.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
£8000, first year. With your accommodation, food, and travel covered. It's a good trade. You'll find the Accommodation good and the Travel a lifesaver, the food.... I'll end it there. The money is yours to do as you please after your 0.44-5.15 NI reduction.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Fareham's fine, a bit boring but fine, Gosport is dead, and no the nightclub there is aweful is that's your thing. The base has a gym, swimming pool, Tennis court, the hub has a pool table and table tennis.
9a. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Most of my friends are a bit to soft and mellow to enjoy this. Teamwork is a key part to the company, but when you are diminished in your class, Teamwork and getting your ideas heard is a challenge. It is worth mentioning that I've got teamwork experience which I showed during the recruitment task.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail? *
You need to be an ideas person or a great leader to get through the interview stage and recruitment task, that's the easy part, But I will not recommend this if you can't do banter, or you are considered different from the "so called" norm groups of the course. Of course this is only the first year. The depot staff seem professional. The academy will feel like a return to secondary school.
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