1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role is to work with the technical team within Darlington. The role involves a substantial amount of engineering capabilities. A day to day basis is hard to give a true account of because the job is so dynamic. It can include but is not limited to, detailed engineering inspections, measuring of tolerance within s&c and much more.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Most definitely. The Railway has taught me most of what I know in terms of engineering. But my skills which I have learnt do not stop there, as within the apprenticeship it is a requirement to take part in ilm to ensure that you develop sufficient managerial skills which coincide with the engineering aspects of the job.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I love the programme, the work I do on a daily basis I enjoy thoroughly. It is extremely clichéd but I am constantly learning new things and developing as an engineer on a daily basis. I have done so much and achieved more than I believed I would be capable of
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme in its entirety is definitely lax, it isn't as organised or as structured as it should be. You tend to have to get placements and work experience on your own accord, as managers and engineers can tend to be either too busy or not as interested in your apprenticeship as they should be. The structure of nvqs and quality of deliverance is poor in more than one aspect, and seems quite slap dash. However competencies are very well managed and delivered
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
From my employer as a whole I have had an amazing amount of support. On personal levels and matters the company have been second to none. I have gained invaluable knowledge from my team around me, I have had time off whenever it has been required for personal issues and I have had nothing but positive reassurance from everyone
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
It is minimal, first year it is a huge amount of support as it is done in an environment which is nearly identical to school. However second and third year it is pretty much self led teaching with guidance from those in your team. Support is also not absolutely necessary as most nvqs are extremely straightforward
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Through Babcock I believe there was next to nothing which was taught which is transferrable to my actual job role. The lessons we had did not have any relevance to the Railway at all, the only thing which was slightly useful and that's at an extreme push was mechanical principles.
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.)
There are always networking events to get involved with and charity events being hosted. However when it comes to socialising aspects it is down to the team you are part of to organise social events. There are various conventions on throughout the year in which you can attend also if you wish
9a. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend?
They are an absolutely amazing company to work for, even if the money isn't great on the apprenticeship programme the various skills you develop the people you meet, the jobs you do and the enjoyment of working with like minded individuals is reason enough for anyone to want to join the Railway
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail?
Be yourself, do your research and be open to anything. The Railway can lead you to many weird and wonderful paths. It is what you make of it, it can be as varied as you like or it can be as straightforward as you'd expect. The Railway has a position for anyone and everyone
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