1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Day to day it evolves shadowing a current Grade Three in S&T. This is so I can watch what they are doing and how they go about rectifying problems and carrying out maintenance. I then have Task Books which I have to fill out by collecting the relevant information to then prove that I have been a part either led, assisted or watched a task being completed.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have improved on my time management and I have started to pick up the basic skills in regards to S&T faulting and maintenance. I have also become safe whilst working on the railway, knowing what can and cant be done when working on the infrastructure, ensuring everyone goes home safe everyday.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the job that I am doing day to day and enjoy learning new skills and working with new teams. However the part I dislike about the apprenticeship programme is, carrying out courses down in Portsmouth as the facilities we have to stay in are poor and it is a long way to go to carry out a course. As well as this, the work we then have to do back at our DU's can be hard to complete due to the time frames and then the time frames in which that maintenance task comes up, EG: Annual Service B on something.
4. How valued do you feel by Network Rail?
In some areas of network rail i feel valued, whilst I am working at my DU I feel values but in regards to the apprenticeship scheme I feel that once you leave the training centres you are on your own until you then return back there for more training. I feel that the apprenticeship scheme could benefit from better communication from the trainers to the apprentices.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
In some aspects of the programme it is organised well but however in regards to sorting out courses whilst you are at your DU this is organised poorly, for example I have been waiting over 12 months for my working at heights course. Which I feel could have been booked whilst I was at Westwood before I came to my DU.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
like I said previously, whilst you are on your training courses you have all the support you need, however, once you then leave the training facility i feel that the relationship starts to break down, and you are kind of on your own, I have been lucky that in my area there are multiple other apprentices and we all work together to solve each others problems.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
whilst at my DU, the team leaders and supervisors help me complete my task books by ensuring I am placed with a team and give me opportunities to carry out maintenance tasks in order to then complete my task books. This has helped me in trying to complete my relevant task books.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
In the first year, the salary is poor as other apprentice schemes offer a much better salary especially for what is expected of you. Then when it comes to second year the pay increases slightly to £12,525. This isn't that bad, once you start to work shifts as you get an increase to time and a third when working nights and weekends.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I haven't really been looking for opportunities outside in work so I feel I can not give an accurate representation of what the opportunities are like outside of work. A lot for the teams i have been working with just like to keep them self to them self, come in do the job and g home at the end of the shift.
9. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend?
Long term it can be a good company to work for however, in the short term you will have a lot on your shoulders and a lot of deadlines and information to take in and process. but if you stick it out there is potential to climb the ladder and become a manager.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail?
Do your research into the railway and fully understand what it is you are applying for. As well as this, ensure that the biggest rule you follow is keeping everyone safe, as this is the backbone to how Network Rail work. Hence the Motto, Everyone home safe everyday which they use.