1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role requires me to carry out inspections on the railway infrastructure to ensure all tolerances are met. Quite often my job role may require me to carry out night shifts in order to get to areas which are not available during the day due to train movements and safety concerns.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
While carrying out this apprenticeship it really helped me to increase my organisation skills. This was due to the heavy demand of my depots inspection frequency. If organisation skills are not kept up to standard it can increase the chance of faults, or out of tolerance assets being missed which can result in a potential accident.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Throughout this entire course I have enjoyed myself from start to finish. My first 6 months consisted of staying away from home just outside of Coventry. Here I cemented relationships with other apprentices who I believe will now be friends for life. In addition to this I have made many memories while working within my depot and bonding with my team.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Since they had made drastic changes to my course since the start of the apprenticeship nearly a decade ago, there were expected hiccups within the first few months, especially since my Cohort were the first to experience these changes. However, once the new details had been properly understood it was extremely well structured and ran smoothly throughout.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Throughout my entire apprenticeship scheme whenever support was needed it was always available. This was especially useful when trying to finish off NVQ's where I did not fully understand the scope of the task in question. Equally where I've needed support while out on track and I did not understand a task which was being carried out someone was always there to clear up any confusion.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Babcock was our main training provider for the first year of the scheme. Even though it was a slightly new course they were teaching us they were always helpful when trying to interpret what needs doing. To remain in contact with the trainers we were given Tablets where we could email the trainers and most times get a response immediately.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Throughout the first year of course we partook in a training module known as ILM. This module was focused on teaching us key qualities of leadership and how exactly our employer would like us to proceed with leadership when out in the place of work. This module was extremely helpful in gaining confidence to carry out leadership acts throughout the workplace.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
Within my depot the technical team which I am apart of quite often organise a 5 a-side football team. This helps to take our mind off of work every now and then and allows us to all relax together. On top of this we often go out for work drinks on a Friday if we are on days.
9a. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend?
It is a job for life which provides an amazing pension and career opportunities for everyone and anyone who has a drive to succeed. This job also does not discriminate against any race or religion and everyone on the infrastructure is always kind and caring to anyone who they encounter.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail?
Before applying for the company or the apprenticeship first decide which discipline you would like to go in to. Whether it be Permanent Way, Signalling & Telecoms, Overhead Line or Electrification & Plant. These disciplines are all very different and are all require various different skills and mind sets in order to progress.
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