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  • Apply

  • Apprentices in workshop

    You can now register your interest in our 2017 Advanced Apprenticeship Schemes.  

    The Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme at Network Rail is open to anyone who will be aged 18 by 1 October 2016. There’s no upper age limit. To apply you’ll need at least four A*-C GCSEs (IGCSE’s accepted) or four Scottish Standard 1-3 or equivalent. These must include English, Maths and Science or Engineering. We’re happy for you to apply while you’re still sitting your exams as long as you’ll have your results before the start of the scheme. There are also some medical and physical fitness requirements to ensure safety on the track.

  • What you need

    We'd love you to join us but there are some minimum requirements you must meet. There are also a number of documents you need to have to hand. Please make sure you read the following information carefully before starting your application.

    Age Limit

    You must be aged 18 or older on 1st October 2016. This is because all apprentices will be required trackside from the outset of their training programme, ensuring we are compliant with Health & Safety requirements and regulations around shift patterns and working at night for under-18s. There is no upper age limit for the programme.

    Academic qualifications

    In order for a candidate to be considered for entry to the Network Rail Apprenticeship Scheme they must hold the following Academic qualifications:
    • GCSE English at Grade A* - C
    • GCSE Mathematics at Grade A* - C
    • GCSE Science at Grade A* - C Or NVQ or BTEC Level 2 or above in an Engineering subject
    • And
    • One other GCSE in any subject at Grade A* - C

    *Please note that NVQ or BTEC Level 1 in an Engineering subject will not meet the required Standard

    Candidates can be considered for the Scheme if they hold equivalent qualifications to GCSEs at Level 2 or above.

    The following qualifications are acceptable as equivalents (or above) to GCSEs:

    • A Level at Grade A – E
    • AS Level at Grade A – E
    • O Level at Grade A – C
    • IGCSE at Grade A - C
    To satisfy the requirement for ‘one other GCSE in any subject at Grade A* - C’ any of the following qualifications at pass level or above (merit or distinction) will be accepted:
    • QCF Functional Skills Level 2
    • NQF Key Skills Level 2 or above
    • NQF Higher Diploma
    • NVQ Level 2 or above
    • QCF Certificate and Diploma at Level 2 or above
    • BTEC Award, Certificate or Diploma at Level 2 or above

    We will accept the equivalent qualifications from all of the UK countries. Please refer to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education'sguide to comparing qualifications in the UK.

    You must show us the original certificates. We cannot accept the statement of results letter you received from your school or college on results day. If you need replacement certificates or a statement of results certificate , please contact the relevant exam board as soon as possible as the process can take several weeks. Your school or college will tell you who to contact.

    If you gained your qualifications abroad: we will need a NARIC translation of your exam results before we can process your application. You can get one from but please contact them as soon as possible as the process can take several weeks.

    If you are currently in the process of sitting your exams:

    You can still apply - however, you will need to contact us when results are announced to confirm that you have achieved the minimum grade in the subjects required. Any offer made in these circumstances will be subject to meeting our minimum academic requirements.

    You’ll need to upload a copy of your exam certificates with your application form (including UK NARIC translation of any qualifications gained overseas) and show us the original certificates when you come for the assessment centre.

    The Recruitment Process

    The recruitment process is all about making sure you’re right for us and we’re right for you. You’ll complete a brief application form and a short questionnaire so we can find out a bit more about you and what sort of things you’re good at doing.

    Online Test

    As an apprentice, you need a good basic understanding of Maths and English and an aptitude for the other subjects you will study. This test will show us what level of knowledge you have.

    Telephone Interview

    If you pass the online tests, you will be invited to a 10-15 minutes long telephone interview.  During the interview we want to gain an understanding of what motivates you to join Network Rail’s Apprentice programme. 

    Useful tips to help you prepare for the interview:

    • It is good to conduct some research into the rail industry and the apprentice schemes on offer at Network Rail
    • Do ensure that you will not be interrupted during the interview
    • If you use a LAN line, switch off your mobile or if you use a mobile, make sure it is charged
    • It is a really good idea to smile when you talk on the telephone. You will feel more relaxed, sound more confident and assertive
    • As with any interview, if you did not hear or understand the question which was asked, it is ok to ask for it to be repeated

    Assessment Centre

    If you pass all the tests above, you’ll be asked to come to meet us in person and take part in some practical challenges and an interview. We will also talk to you about the career paths available and which ones best suit you.

    If you’re invited to our assessment centre, you’ll need to bring:

    • your exam certificates (originals, not scans or photocopies)
    • a UK NARIC translation (overseas qualifications only)
    • documents that prove your eligibility to work in the UK – either a passport which is valid for at least six months at the date of assessment centre or a full birth certificate (the long one with your parents’ names) and proof of your national insurance number (originals, not scans or photocopies)
    If you can’t show proof of your qualifications and eligibility to work in the UK when you come to the assessment centre, you won’t be offered a place on the apprenticeship scheme.

    Medical requirements

    General health

    These are outdoor roles that require a good level of physical fitness. We also have very rigorous safety standards for people who work on or near the track. We need to know if you have a medical condition or are taking medication that may cause any of the following:

    • sudden loss of consciousness
    • wareness or concentration
    • sudden incapacity
    • temporary loss of vision or coordination and balance
    • immobility

    If you have a known medical condition we’ll carry out a risk assessment so that we can, where possible, find a safe system of work for you.

    Medical examination

    If you are offered a place on the apprenticeship scheme, you’ll have a full medical exam, including sight and hearing checks. We’ll also ask your doctor for information on any existing medical condition, such as diabetes, or any medications you’re being prescribed. As this is such a physically demanding job, it’s really important that you pass the medical examination, for the health and safety not only of you, but for those around you. So, unfortunately those who don’t pass won’t be able to take part in the apprenticeship.

    If you fail to disclose anything at this stage, we’ll have to withdraw any offer we make.

    Hints & Tips

    Applying for jobs and opportunities takes time and effort, so make sure it’s all worthwhile! The following points will help you get your application right. We’ll also be posting more hints and tips on Facebook over the coming months, including help with the Assessment Centre.

    • Do your research. Before you submit an application, make sure this opportunity is right for you. Read the profiles of our current and former apprentices to get an understanding of the scheme, what you’ll be doing and the career paths available. We invest heavily in our Advanced Apprenticeship scheme, so we expect you to know why you want to join our organisation and be part of this scheme in particular. Additional information about Network Rail can be found at

    • Think through the challenges. Ask yourself how you’ll feel about living away from home and then combining work and study for the remainder of the scheme. It’s a great opportunity but quite a commitment. You can read more about it in the "What you need" section above.

    • Consider whether the salary is enough for you - remember part of the first year we pay a lot of your expenses. However, you need to consider if you are able to get to work easily for both day and night shifts..

    • Make sure you meet the academic requirements and that you have original exam certificates or a statement of results certificateas you will need to show them to us - otherwise your application can’t be progressed.

    • Be honest. It’s OK to present yourself in a positive light, but make sure you give an accurate account of everything on an application for employment. This is particularly important in the case of Network Rail as part of your training will take place on a naval site and we have to obtain security clearance for you to work there and if you require a short residential stay. As part of the application process you will be asked to declare ANY criminal convictions, cautions, interactions with the police, traffic violations and spent convictions. It is REALLY important that you tell us about anything in this area. This information is NOT used to judge your application. However, if you DO NOT declare something that is later found by the Navy as part of the security check, then they may refuse your clearance and we may have to withdraw your offer of employment..

    • The online questionnaire aims to find out more about your strengths and preferred ways of working. Take your time and answer this honestly. It will also give you an insight into what you might be doing on the scheme.

    • Stay in touch. Once you have submitted your online application form, make sure you check your emails regularly. If you’ve been successful in getting through to the next stage of the process, there will be strict deadlines by which you'll need to respond.
  • So now you’ve read all the important information on the website and you’re ready to get going with your application.

    We invest a lot in our apprentices because we want you to be the future of our business. Please read the following before you start the application process. We also recommend that you read our Hints and Tips above.

    • Although part of your first year is spent at Network Rail’s Training Centre, you will be allocated a local depot. This is where you will be based for the remainder of your first year and the second and third years of the scheme. When you apply, we will consider you for vacancies at depots within 75 minutes travel time of your current home address. If you wish to be considered for a different geographical area, you’ll have the option of letting us know during your application.
    • As we have a number of career paths available the initial recruitment process will identify suitable candidates with the right motivation and skills for the Apprenticeship Scheme. We will discuss which career paths you are suited to at the assessment centre.

    There’s a lifetime of opportunity ahead. Start your epic career journey here. Good luck!

    Start your application

    Finding a role in a suitable location is easy. All you need to do is enter your home postcode in the search field below and click ‘Go’.

    This will show you all the depots that fall within a 75 minute car journey of your chosen postcode. By clicking on one of the depots you’ll be able to find out the distance from your selected postcode, and how long a journey there should take by car.

    If you’re planning to commute by public transport, please check travel times for yourself using timetables as the journey will probably take longer than driving there yourself. Please make sure you can travel to and from the depot you apply to within 1 hour 15 minutes.

    Apply for the The Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme

  • What you'll be doing - Feature Content

    What you’ll be doing

    From track to electrification and plant, discover the range of training on offer and hear more from our current apprentices.

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    Pay and benefits - Featured Content

    Pay and benefits

    As an Advanced Apprentice, you’ll earn while you learn, with free food and accommodation during the period of your residential stay.

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    About the scheme - featured content

    About the scheme

    Our three year scheme includes a residential stay at our National Training Centre in the Midlands and more than two years hands on experience at a local depot.

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    Apply - Featured Content


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