1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My day to day work is training to be a telecommunications engineer. This includes daily maintenance and checks as well as faulting and rectifying faults that are sent in by either our tech department or signallers/station managers etc. We interact daily with our managers and also TOC staff. Our responsibilities include telephone exchanges, the FTN network, emergency phones and any other communication means. My daily work includes all of the above as well as completing a daily diary and completing my works reports.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
When I complete this course I will come out with an NVQ in railway engineering. The training I have received on a daily basis be it at the depot I work at or external providers has been to the highest possible quality. I am sent country wide in order to get the best possible training. When I started I had basic skills and they weren't in this department but now I am gaining advanced skills in my specialist department. I have learnt basics such as fixing and joining cables to advanced works such as telephone exchanges and transmission systems.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I love my day to day work it is always different which keeps things interesting, the team I work with are professional, efficient and also funny which some days can be crucial. In this company they really do follow the saying that is that there is no I in team, this is really emphasised by the companies culture and safety mantras. The programme has so far met all my expectations and in some cases surpassed them. I have enjoyed it so far and see no reason why I wont in the future.
4. How valued do you feel by Network Rail?
Everyday I feel as valued as the fully qualified technicians, this is because we are all part of the team and each person is as respected and valued as the next. My manager always takes the time to see me and see how I am getting on, I personally received an award after my first year which was a really nice touch from the scheme which gave us something to aim for from the beginning. I am fully involved in every task we undertake which makes you feel appreciated by the team.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The scheme is exceptionally run with all the support and tutoring you need practically on tap. I have never felt like I am an after thought or a hassle to anyone. Whenever you contact the admin team or the tutors you will be given an answer or action within a very respectable time and most times they will call to ensure that they have covered all you wanted answered/help with. Tasks are well laid out and given out with you being given the chance to lead a task from an early stage in order for you to build confidence.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Like I mentioned above support is always available and readily accessible. The guidance we receive is second to none and any presentations/learning packages that we have been given in previous lessons/courses are always available to us on our back drive. The tutors have a good attitude towards helping you and are dedicated to helping you pas and complete your work. I have enjoyed all I have done so far and I am looking forward to the future as I will continue to learn more and more.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer has give me all the support I require and that goes for all levels of employer from manager down to standard technicians. I have had multiple mentors and placements in order to gain all the information and knowledge I need. Any issues I have come across have been deal with efficiently and promptly in order to let me carry on with my learning as soon as possible. Attitudes towards me have been good and I have been supplied with all the PPE tools and equipment I need with no fuss whatsoever.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I am lucky that my living costs are not currently that high but even if they were I would be confident that the courses salary would cover it. The first year you can live cost free whilst living away which is fantastic and your travel at set holidays is paid for. You have no daily costs and social is down to you. he location at westwood is a fantastic location and the depots are also well equipped. Each year you complete of the scheme you receive a pay rise which is a nice bonus and incentive to carry on.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The company puts on many events during the evenings which act as team bonding but also a chance to let off steam after a day at work. The company offers a new charity each and every year to be supported by us and allows staff days off to complete various charity activities in order to benefit either their company charity or personal choice. The company sets up multiple community events and local events. There are also sports events and classes for us to participate in in the evenings. When I am not working I take the opportunity to study or revise ad also spend time with friends or co workers.
9a. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I would and have recommended the scheme to any of my friends because of the standard of learning that we receive and also the end outcome. The chance to work in a stable job with a very supporting company is one that no one should pass up. The company is looking for the best professionals and the right people to take the company forward which I think is an exciting challenge to be part of especially with all the upgrades the railway is currently receiving.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail? *
I would say that the most important thing is to stay motivated and always consider the future. The application process can seem really long but its very rewarding at the end. The experience and opportunity that is presented to us is second to none so its worth taking by the horns when you get the chance. The time spent away is massively out weighed by the time your at the depot learning your trade. Just go for it you wont regret it.
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