1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I've been allocated the position of Seniot Technical Officer for Distribution and Plant at Doncaster Depot. This involves looking to Technical Issues which support the department. Liasing with contractors for new infrastructure, attending handback meetings. Bringing old assets up to date. Purchasing new equipment, spares and replacement parts.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I've done both. I've developed all my electrical theroy and skills throught the NVQ in Electrotechnical Teachnology. Gained many new qualifications recognised in the electrical trade. Developed my skills in problem solving and initiative in resolving problems
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoyed the whole experience. Some parts are labourious, and time consuming but these are all crucial to obtain qualifications. The first 9 months at HMS Sultan and HMS Collingwood was very long but served its purpose in obtaining a BTEC in Engineering Technology
4. How valued do you feel by Network Rail?
I feel very valued. They recognised my skills during 18 months experience at depot and I was slotted into a position which was freed up in the Technical Office 6 months before my apprenticeship finished.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It is well structured. Some parts could be better. It wasn't applicable to me but some people in my class failed certain modules and there's been no effort to ensure they get a resit booked in for the next time we are training down Portsmouth. If the appretice doesn't seek to organise this thereselves then this is left and forgotten about. All the training points at depot are left for the apprentice to organise, lazier apprentices will simply leave this alone and not have the apprentice experience they could have done.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
During assessments, I received a lot of support to get me though. Being much older I am used to sorting things out myself so I actively sought out information. Others aren't good at doing this like me, so are left to struggle in silence
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I have received a lot of support from my employer, they have been very helpfully.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
No not at all. Especially the second year. I am an older apprentice and have always rented accommodation so there have been some very tight months on £11,500. With the same bills as everyone else.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
9. Would you recommend Network Rail to a friend?
I've learned some great skills which will stay with me the rest of my career. I have also made some great friends who I will find useful thoughout my career to resolve isses.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Network Rail?
Do it. Think carefully about which discipline you want to go and do your reserach.
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