1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role is to assist and observe the teams that I work with, at the moment I am working with the technical team where I am assisting with tasks such as platform gauging and track surveys. I try to spend time with a different team every couple of months to learn as much as possible.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Since i have worked on the railway i have become a lot more confident, i also know i am capable of a lot more, and have been able to show my strengths and work on my weaknesses. I have also learnt how important team work is within a team, i believe all the skills i have earned within Network Rail will be extremely important when i apply for jobs.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I feel very happy in this apprenticeship, I ma learning something new everyday that is useful not only in work but in life as well. all my colleagues are very understanding of how I feel and they know how to help me as a lot of them have been in the apprenticeship and it is the reason they are where they are today.
4. How valued do you feel by Network Rail?
I feel very important within Network rail, the team I work with are always asking if I need anything and they are also always trying to involve me in everything they do, to me this shows that they want me to know everything they do and more, I feel I can make a difference to this company from the information I have gathered from my colleagues.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
There is a very basic structure for the apprenticeship, but this isn't a bad thing, Network rail want you to learn how to be responsible for your own career, it forces me to go out and talk to people to make sure I have covered all areas within the track discipline, but if I don't know where to turn, I know who to contact for help and guidance.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
On multiple occasions I have emailed a trainer when I am at my depot asking questions about the assignments I have carried out and I have always had a reply within a few days telling me what I need to do, I also have access to every trainers email which shows they are willing to help us.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Within the apprenticeship me and my line manager are required to carry out 12 weekly reviews which are sent to my trainers, this is to show them that my line manager is involved with what I am doing, this is also a great opportunity for my line manager to include any comments they may have about me or the apprenticeship.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The pay is not too bad, I have been able to survive on it for the last two years, I also know that it may be a struggle now but I ma working towards a career which I could potentially be in for life. I know the three years of training I have to complete is worth the work.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Network rail provides extra courses for the apprentices, within the company there are also many benefits that come with the job, for example I have the ability to join the cycle to work scheme which will allow me to get a great quality bike with help from the company, they also paid for me to get a new pair of safety glasses as I require prescription safety glasses.
9. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend?
Network rail cover so many areas, allowing a wide variety of people to join and have a career which they could feel secure in. I have recommended the apprenticeship to a friend of mine who has no idea what we wants to do as a career which is fine going in to Network rail.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail?
Show that you are keen to work, they don't expect you to know much about the job you are applying for, I applied straight out of college not really knowing what I would be doing in the apprenticeship, but I showed I had an interest in working on the railway and that I was a hard worker.