1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role as a Track Apprentice for Network Rail is to observe, assist and take part in as many maintenance activities and tasks as possible. I am constantly learning through the everyday jobs that I carry out with my team, so that I build up lots of valuable experience in the railway industry.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a lot about the railway infrastructure here in Britain, and how Network Rail constructs it, maintains it and renews it as they see fit. I have learnt how to communicate and solve problems with my colleagues, and I have developed a knowledge of how to identify hazards and prevent them from becoming risks.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy the physical work and the freedom of spending most of my days outside, it's much better than being cooped up in an office! The teams I work with are always happy to help me with my reports and assignments, and are always telling me more facts about the railway to increase my knowledge. Manual labour is a very satisfying way to earn a wage, and you can stay fit and healthy doing it.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
On the whole, my apprenticeship is well organised and the basics are laid out fairly clearly. However, adjusting from the training environment to working day shifts and night shifts at the depots can be a very different and sometimes challenging experience, but you do get used to it. Once you get into a rhythm of working regularly, then all the training you receive becomes relevant and really useful.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My team leaders and my colleagues are always there to support me and help me with any questions I have about the railway, and have really motivated me to ask questions and expand my knowledge. My training also provides 1to1 meetings with Development Coaches to review my performance and my progress in the workplace, keeping me up to date with what I need to be focusing on, while giving me an opportunity to voice concerns.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
My training gives me the core understanding of my role out on track, and I receive special courses on different competencies that I need for completing certain tasks. Most of the learning however takes place on the job, where I see tasks being carried out, or where I can aid and assist, giving me a more real interpretation of life on the railway.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Many of my reports are track-based and require lots of research to be carried out over time, meaning that I have to absorb lots of information as I go. This motivates me to learn more and understand the railway better, and the support I receive also pushes me to take on more responsibility in my role.
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.)
During training, there was a fantastic sports fitness and health programme, where you could compete and exercise while practising team-building communication and good working relationships. People could meet and talk at the bar or learn and work together in the study areas, while some organised sports tournaments outside of working hours.
9a. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend?
I would recommend Network Rail to a friend because they look after you as an apprentice and as an employee. The railway industry is one of the fastest-growing places to work in the country, with the Government pouring money into our aging infrastructure. The work is enjoyable and the benefits are numerous, with many different roles for all sorts of individuals.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail?
You should work on your communication skills and trust in your ability to push through challenging situations. There is plenty of room to succeed, you just need to apply yourself and show that you are willing to work hard, have a positive attitude and can step out of your comfort zone when required.
More from Network RailMore Reviews Company Profile
Get personalised jobs straight to your inbox
Save time job hunting - get tailored job opportunities sent straight to you!