Cookies and networkrail.co.uk. We use cookies to give you the best experience on our website. If you continue, we'll assume that you are happy to receive them.
You can read more about how we use cookies, and turn them off, on this page.

  • Apply

  • Apprentices in workshop

    Applications to join our Apprentice Scheme in March 2017 are now open. Please apply by Monday 31st October.

    Our apprentice scheme is very competitive and we receive a high number of quality applications every year. The application process reflects the strength of our offering and our search for applicants who are serious and enthusiastic about working for Network Rail.

    The Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme is open to anyone who will be aged 18 by 1 April 2017. There is no upper age limit. To apply you’ll need at least four A*-C GCSE’s (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 are still sitting your exams as long as you will have your results before the start of the scheme. There are also some medical and physical fitness requirements to ensure safety on the track. We strongly recommend that you read the below information on the various steps of the process before starting your application, to give yourself the best chance of succeeding.

    Ready to apply now?

     

  • 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 1 April 2017. 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 www.naric.org.uk 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.

    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, awareness 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 of not only 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.

    Step one – Match-me quiz

    Complete our online Match-me quiz, which is designed to show you what it’s like to work at Network Rail and based on your answers we will give you an indication as to whether you’re likely to be a good match for one of our roles or not. In order to take the quiz you will first need to register as a new candidate, however this does not mean you are under any obligation to go on and submit a full application.

    Take the Match-me quiz

    Step two – Online application and SJT

    If on completion of the Match-me quiz you are encouraged to apply for the scheme, the next step is to complete our short online application form.  There are no lengthy questions contained in the application form, it is mainly collecting your biographical data. This can be followed immediately by taking our Situational Judgement Test (SJT), although you can return to complete this at another time if you prefer. 

    What is the SJT and how should I prepare?

    The SJT is a test which presents you with typical scenarios that you might face in the role at Network Rail and asks you to choose what you think are the most and least effective courses of action, from multiple-choice options. The SJT has been specifically designed to provide you with a realistic preview of what it is like to work in Network Rail and has been tested with existing employees to ensure it is fit for purpose. It is testing your natural ability to analyse situations and make decisions, think about the implications of your actions and weigh up the best course of action. It also tests your approach to working and collaborating with others, communicating with others and your ability to work quickly through specific job related problems. It is not a timed test but there are right and wrong answers which assess your overall fit for Network Rail against our pre-defined success criteria and values.

    In order to work through the SJT as effectively as possible, you should try to:

    • Familiarise yourself with Network Rail; our values, and the type of work we do. You can’t really prepare for an SJT as it is assessing your natural judgement and decision making skills to determine your fit for our organisation and culture. However, reading our website, familiarising yourself with what we do and details of the role you have applied for will help you when completing the test
    • Read each scenario properly and in detail. Do make sure that you take time to read each scenario and the possible responses properly as you need to understand the task or the situation in order to be able to give your best natural response. If you rush through the questions too quickly you may misinterpret something and therefore provide an incorrect answer.
    • Be yourself and go with your first natural response. We want to understand who you are and what value you will add to Network Rail. There is no point in thinking about the scenarios for too long, it is more effective to read the scenario and go with your first reaction or natural response as to what you think are the most and least effective courses of action.

    Step three – Psychometric game

    If you meet our essential criteria and successfully pass the SJT, you’ll then be invited to play our psychometric game.

    What is the psychometric game and how should I prepare?

    At Network Rail we try to make our recruitment and assessment process as interesting and exciting as possible. We don’t use traditional psychometric tests as we feel that these can be anxiety provoking for candidates. The game is a fun and engaging way for us to assess your numerical, logical and verbal skills. You’ll work your way through a number of different levels where you’ll encounter different scenarios and problems to resolve.

    In order to play the game you’ll need to download an app to your smartphone or tablet. It should take you between 20-30 minutes to complete the game. There will be a practice game at the start so you can take your time and familiarise yourself with how it all works before completing the real thing.

    Step four – Telephone interview

    If your gaming skills are up to scratch, we’ll then want to get to know you better via a telephone interview.  During the 10 – 15 minute 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 telephone interview:

    • It's 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 land line, switch off your mobile or if you use a mobile, make sure it is charged
    • 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
    • Be confident and friendly, but not too casual
    • Imagine the person sitting in front of you – remember that a smile can be heard through the tone of your voice.
    • Speak clearly and measuredly, be careful not to mutter.
    • Have your notes where you can see them easily to ensure you include everything you want to - use bullet points rather than scripts
    • Stay focused, you can take your time to consider your answers just as you would during a face to face interview.

    Step 5 – Assessment centre

    The final stage in the process is an assessment centre; these will be held at various locations across the country.

    What is assessment centre and how should I prepare?

    You’ll be asked to take part in a group exercise and a face-to-face interview. It’s a chance for you to meet some of our senior leaders and current apprentices, to ask us questions and demonstrate your enthusiasm for a career at Network Rail. From our point of view, the assessment centre will give us a realistic picture of you, your skills, abilities and knowledge of our business.

    We very much want you to be successful at the assessment centre and will do our best to make you feel welcome and as relaxed as possible.

    It is important that you can demonstrate that you have an interest in Network Rail, the railway industry and that you understand who Network Rail’s stakeholders and customers are, so please do your research in advance. 

    Before the assessment centre:

    • Have a through read through of the information on our website (the main site, not just the apprentice careers pages).
    • Make sure you understand the requirements of the role you have applied to and the different types of projects you could be involved in
    • Google Network Rail and read through any recent press articles etc.
    • Think about your strengths (i.e. what energises you and what you are naturally good at) and how you have used these to succeed in the past.
    • Think about how you can demonstrate that you have the passion, enthusiasm and energy to make a difference?
    • Think about how you work collaboratively and effectively with others at all levels.
    • Think about how you deliver results – are you able to adopt a structured and planned approach?
    • Think about how you manage relationships - can you work closely with clients and senior colleagues in Network Rail to define and meet their needs, and build relationships effectively?
    • Think about how you deal with change - can you generate new ideas and tackle change positively?
    • Think about how you collate and analyse information effectively in order to make informed decisions.
    • Think about how you can demonstrate that you have clear and effective written and verbal communication skills.

    Hints & Tips

    Hints and tips for your application:

    •  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. Complete our Match-me questionnaire. 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 www.networkrail.co.uk.
    • Think through the challenges. Ask yourself how you’ll feel about living away from home, combining work and study throughout 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 certificate as 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!

  • 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 60 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!

    The Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme - opportunities across Britain


    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.

    Apply now


     

  • 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.

    Find out more
    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.

    Find out more
     
    About the scheme - featured content

    About the scheme

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

    Learn more
    Apply - Featured Content

    Apply

    Ready to make your application?

    Let’s get started
     
    Events - Featured Content

    Westwood Training Centre

    Westwood has bespoke engineering training equipment to meet the requirements of the BTEC and NVQ qualifications that form an integral part of the programme.

    Read more
    FAQ - Featured Content

    FAQs

    You’ll probably have lots of questions, so look here to see if they’ve been answered.

    Read more
     
     
  • FB-FindUsonFacebook-online-144
  • Apprentice scheme accolades 2015-16