Apprenticeships at Network Rail – more than just an education

You'll have three amazing years on our apprenticeship scheme. Your first 21 weeks will be spent living and learning at Westwood, our training centre in the Midlands. The rest of your scheme will be spent working from a depot close to home. Specialising in electrification and plant, overhead lines, signalling, telecoms, track or off track, you’ll receive expert training.

Hands-on projects and dedicated support

We'll help you get the kind of skills that can set you up for life. It’s the beginning of an epic career journey that can lead to varied career options. You'll have the chance to study for further qualifications and gain chartered membership of a professional engineering institute.

Whichever career path you follow, you'll spend your first 21 weeks at Westwood developing the technical knowhow and leadership ability you’ll need for the many exciting challenges ahead.

You'll be working towards an NVQ Level 2 , ILM Level 2 and Level 3 Engineering Award so there'll be a mix of academic work as well as hands-on practical experience.


  • NVQ2 in Performing Engineering Operations#
  • Level 3 Engineering Award
  • Institute of Leadership Management (ILM) Level 2

Living away from home for the first time can be daunting. But as one of 150 you won't be alone. You'll live and learn at our residential training centre.

You’ll be supported by a team of managers who have extensive experience in dealing with the challenges you might face. There are a few rules to keep everyone safe and to ensure consideration for others, but mostly you’ll be encouraged to make new friends, enjoy the sports and leisure facilities and have lots of fun.

During the first 21 weeks, you’ll be expected to work on some Saturday mornings. Saturday afternoons and Sundays during this period will be your own time. We plan your other leave for you to include long weekends plus block periods over Christmas and Easter.

Part of your journey on the Network Rail Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme gives you a chance to live away from home, meet new people and make lifelong friends. We guarantee you won’t have time to feel bored or lonely as there’s a packed schedule including technical training, leadership development and fitness activities. In the first 21 weeks, your salary is yours to spend. We pay for your :

  • accommodation
  • three meals a day (brunch and dinner on Sundays),
  • scheduled trips home

During your time off you’ll have access to the on-site facilities including the gym, swimming pool and squash court. In the local area, you'll find shops, sporting activities and plenty of nightlife, so you’ll never be short of things to do!

This is where you put your training into practice. Joining an engineering team at a depot close to home, you’ll get out and about on the network, learning alongside more experienced colleagues. There's lots to take in and a lot of responsibility to take on. But by the end of the scheme, you'll be set up for a great future and career with us.

You'll also be working towards an NVQ3 in railway engineering. This involves a combination of rail-specific technical courses, work experience and formal assessments. On top of this, you'll complete various other technical and leadership training modules at our engineering training centres around the country to prepare you for a career at the top of your profession.

Your classes will be taught by a team of experienced rail engineers and professional trainers. Some of them have been through the Apprenticeship Scheme themselves, so they're also a great source of information and advice.


  • NVQ3 in Railway Engineering
  • ILM Level 3 in First Line Management.

The three years as an apprentice is the beginning of an epic career journey that can lead on to diverse career options, beyond the scheme you can have the chance to study for further qualifications and gain chartered membership of a professional engineering institute.

Once you have finished the apprenticeship scheme, you will continue to have career conversations to see how how we can support your future aspirations. You could choose to study for a degree, gain professional accreditation or participate in further career development schemes, such as secondments or shadowing.

When we say the difference is you, we mean it! Some of our previous apprentices have held various senior positions within Network Rail; these roles include programme managers, principal engineers and maintenance delivery managers.