1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Electrical technician. Repair and maintain generators and transformer stations. Isolate sections of track for other teams to work on. Ensure power is being supplied to the track at all times.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Massive increase in electrical knowledge, both in electrics and electronics. Team building and leading skills built too.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Most of the course is interesting but some of it is so badly put together and some tutors teach badly, but majority is good. The ILM course that is also taught is horrible, I feel I have developed some good social and team skills but it is my most hated day of the week. The living conditions are also pretty bad, food is depressing, showers are always too hot or cold and aren't suitable for a tall person (which I am). The accommodation is shared too and that takes it's toll when you live away from home with 3 to 5 strangers. There isn't much to do is free time either and a lot of time is spent sitting around. Unpaid saturday morning work is also not fun.
4. How valued do you feel by Network Rail?
I feel valued and like my position within the company is important when I start work at my depot but when living on the navy base doing the theory side of the course I feel like just one of many cattle and that less care is put into this part of the course.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Most of it is well structured but there are a few parts that are just a shambles.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Some tutors provide all the help you could want while others seem to not care.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Network Rail is a good company to work for but if I had known what I'd be in for with the apprenticeship programme I think I would have applied directly for a job and miss this out. There is good company support for work related things but when it comes to the apprenticeship there isn't anything they want to change to accommodate.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
This is the best paid apprenticeship I've come across and I've looked through many and been on a couple before this one. The pay helps get through the course.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
If you achieve well enough in the first theory part of the course then they will consider sponsoring you to go to university which I think is an amazing opportunity and intend to do that myself.
9a. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
They are a good company and pay well with interesting and enjoyable work. I would not recommend the apprenticeship programme though.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail? *
Apply for a job and work your way up instead of going through the apprenticeship programme.
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