- 1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
- 2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
- 3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
- 4. How valued do you feel by Network Rail?
- 5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
- 6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
- 6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
- 7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
- 8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
- 9. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend?
- 9b. Why?
- 10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail?
Currently my role varies on a day to day basis. My line manager is very helpful and arranges placements for me in order to complete my assignements and work based learning objectives, so if I need more exposure in a particular role my line manager will aid in arranging this. I do have a depot I am based at and visit here frequently to help with the day to day office work such as planning engineering works. After the works have been planned, I aid with the renewals themselves by being site based during these periods. This gives me a good balance of both environments and also exposes me to both sides of my role. The depot gives me a base to work from so I can work on with my assignments and ask the engineers should I need advice but also gives me the chance to help out as and when I am not on placements!
Coming from a mainly sporting background I have really had to start from scratch with engineering and the railway. The first year of the scheme is based on a college type plan. The instructors realise everybody within the scheme comes in at different levels and they really help to build your skills up from pratically nothing to a good level where you can go on to perform your roles adequately and safely with confidence. This first 'foundation' year really helps you to get to grips with the working environment in both engineering and on the railway!
The things I really enjoy about my programme is that it is extremely varied and I am always at different sites on different placements. This not only exposes to so much more than being at one particular site, but it also prevents a job becoming tedious. I also really like the fact that my programme is 50/50 with office and site based work, giving me time to reflect on the jobs I have completed and good experience with both sides!
Network Rail really go out of their way to give you the help and advice you need through the apprenticeship, even before you start! I have previously worked at companies where I have felt like a 'number', but this isn't the case with Network Rail as I feel that they have everything in place to make the workplace as comfortable as possible.
My programme has very clear objectives with qualifications set out in an extrememlyt efficient and structured manner with clear deadlines. The first year is college based work where a subsidary BTEC diploma in rail engineering is obtained along with an NVQ level 2 in engineering and an ILM level 2. There are also many extra curricular activites to be involved with aiding to network with other apprentices and colleagues. The next two years are spent at your depot with exposure to the necearry placements in order to complete an NVQ level 3 and WBLO's (work based learning objectives). An ILM level 3 is also obtained by the end of the third year. The placements are clearly set out and give you all of the skills you need to be able to go into a full time role after your apprenticeship.
The training provider (Babcock) are extremely supportivie. Instructors will ensure you comepletely understand a subject before moving on and give you all of the help you require. Not only do they help educationally, but the also have staff on site 24/7 so whilst you are living away from home should you require any help whatsoever they are always on site. This could range from needing help with washing clothes or problems with the accomodation to just needing a friendly chat and some support!
In regarda to Network Rail, they will give you any support you require. Should you need experience in a certain field, the engineers and line managers will do anything they can to aid you with this. Not only work wise, but also outside of work there are procedures in place to help you if you are feeling stressed or concerned with anything, whether this be work or home life! It is reasurring to know your employer are there to support you whatever diffculties you come across during your career.
The salary is very competitive especially as an apprentice! The first year your food and accomodation is paid for so all that you earn is yours to spend. The second and third years salary increases each year and at this point you will be living back at home working from your depot. Although you will be returning to the training centre periodically for modules, time spent here is paid for as normal and travel to and from here is paid for. AGain, during these modules the food and accomodation is paid for. Overtime is available as well should you be willing to work this, but this is of course optional.
During the first year living at the training centre, there are extra curricular activites on almost very night. This ranges from sports such as football and rugby with other sports such as ultimate frisbee etc available to a full equipped gym and swimming pool. Other activities available are quiz and kareoke evenings with FIFA evenings also arranged for those that enjoy playing the xbox! There is a TV room in all of the accomodations and pool tables available for free use. There are always things to do whilst living away!
I would 100% recommend this scheme for all of the above reasons I have stated. This apprenticeship has changed my life and given me the chance in a career that I would otherwise have had no idea how to approach!
When applying for the scheme, you will be required to take online tests - do these in a quiet environment with a good computer and a calculator to hand! Do not panic! The tests may seem difficult and you may be downhearted after taking them, but they are designed to test you under a time limit, so stay calm and relaxed. If you proceed to an interview, be confident and talk of your previous experiences. These do not have to be engineering related, it could be your customer service experience in a shop for example, or how you dealt with problems at college etc. Show your personality! If you choose to apply to the scheme, best of luck!
Level 3 Apprenticeship
Central London & City