1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a first year apprentice completing a 3 year apprentice in training to become a track technician. Monday to Friday I am in the classroom from 08:15 to 16:15 doing a range of subjects from materials and mechanical systems to bench fitting and surveying. Each discipline has their own specialist subjects which are taught to suit the role of the job which you'll be going into.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
As an engineering student i studied engineering for 4 years prior to joining the apprenticeship scheme and being on this course has allowed me to develop my skills due to the mechanical aspects of the subjects which i am being taught being a track apprentice. Subjects such as Maintaining Mechanical Devices and Benchfitting have helped to develop this as we were working hands on with mechanical components.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
At times it is hard living away from home with alot of male apprentices and so being around them all the time can make you want to get away but it does have the benefits where you meet a great variety of people and just a general change from home life which can help to prepare you for general life at a later stage.
4. How valued do you feel by Network Rail?
As an apprenitce, everything seems to be centered around us where there is the network rail staff in the offices which keep us up to date on everything which concerns us and are very good are helping with issues in personal life where you can book time off and also arrange other things such as travel and uniform orders.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
due to the size of the programme, the supplier of the academics (Babcock Engineering Academy) have to cater for Network Rail, EDF Energy and BAE Systems and so everything that is being delivered has been tried and tested and they are usually very thoughtful when it comes to setting deadlines and catering for any needs of an individual.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Babcock try to help all apprentices to the best of their ability where the instructors will go above and beyond to help during break times, lunch times and even after work has finished. When it comes to the work being set, there is usually clear breifing about what needs to be done and so if you don't understand what is required then it won't be set or a longer deadline will be set to cater for your needs where the instructors can sit down with you and go through what is required.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Network Rail have staff who work on base who are there to deal with any issues that you have and so if you approach them with a situation then they will do their best to help you or direct you to somewhere where you will get help.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is enough where you can have costs such as cars and phone contracts and still have money left over to save and also go out and spend as you wish.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Alongside with the personal development team there are many extra activities which you can get in both physical and mental activities to suit a range of personnels.
9. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend?
It gives you the opportunity to build a career for life and the apprenticeship is the best way to get into the company in my opinion and so the training provided is everything they are looking for to set you up with opportunities for promotion within the company.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail?
Anyone applying should give as much detail as possible about their life as there is a vast range of people on this apprenticeship scheme from all backgrounds of life whether you have an engineering background or not.
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