We invest a lot in our apprentices because we want you to be the future of our business
Applications for our September 2019 apprenticeship scheme have now closed.
Our apprenticeship scheme is very competitive - we receive a high number of quality applications each year.
Before starting your application please read the following:
We'd love you to join us but there are some minimum requirements you must meet:
You will need to be available to start on 29 September 2019. All leave and holidays is scheduled by Network Rail. We will be unable to accommodate any holidays or leave outside of the scheduled dates within the first 21 weeks of your apprenticeship.
You must be aged 18 on or before 29 September 2019. This is to ensure 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.
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 Language at Grade A*- C / 9 - 5 **
- GCSE Mathematics at Grade A*- C / 9 - 5
- GCSE Science at Grade A*- C / 9 - 5 Or NVQ or BTEC Level 2 or above in an Engineering subject
- One other GCSE in any subject at Grade A*- C / 9 - 5
*Please note that NVQ or BTEC Level 1 in an Engineering subject will not meet the required Standard
**English Literature will only be accepted as an additional qualification
Candidates can be considered for the Scheme if they hold equivalent qualifications to GCSEs at Level 2 or above.
Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English will be accepted. All 3 parts in English must be completed. We cannot accept just English Reading or Writing.
The following qualifications are acceptable as equivalents (or above) to GCSEs:
- Scottish National 5 or Scottish Standard 1-2
- A Level at Grade A – E
- AS Level at Grade A – E
- O Level at Grade A – C
- IGCSE at Grade A - C
(These must include English, Maths and Science or Engineering)
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's guide 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.
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
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.
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 yourself, but of 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.
2. Our depot locations
Although part of your first year is spent at our 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.
3. Application process
What is a Situational Judgement Test?
When we create a Situational Judgement Test (SJT), our aim is to provide you with a realistic preview into the types of situations you could find yourself in within the role you're applying for.
Each situation will give you a choice of possible courses of action. All we want you to do is choose which you'd most likely do, and the one you're least likely to do.
What we're looking for in a test like this is to understand the way you think about situations you're presented with, and your approach to tackling each one.
The SJT is not a timed test - but there are right and wrong answers which assess your personal approach to decision making and understanding of the culture and values of Network Rail.
How can I prepare?
Whilst you can't "revise" for an SJT, we would suggest that you take some time to familiarise yourself with the type of work we do here, and in particular, understand the role that you are applying for. We'd also recommend that you try to get a feel from our website about what it's like to work for us.
If you do this, it will help you to think about the best course of action against each situation within the SJT in a Network Rail environment, and whether your choice would reflect our culture.
As well as looking at your approach to decision making, the SJT really does help us to see if we are right for you as an employer, as much as they help to see if you are right for us. That's why we look at cultural fit as part of our selection process.
The SJT is not timed, so to perform at your best when you take the test, make sure you take time to read each scenario and the possible courses of action properly. Once you've done this, try to go with your initial or natural reaction, as this will give is the best insight into you and the value you could add yo our organisation.
If you pass the SJT, we will review your application and successful candidates will be invited to a coaching call which is conducted over the telephone. It is a compulsory step in the selection process, so be sure to attend the call. We will ask you questions and give you information to find out how well you might fit in with our culture and values. We will provide you with guidance to help you do as well as possible in the next stage of the assessment process – the assessment centre. The coaching interview will last between 10-15 minutes.
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 with us. 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 the railway industry and that you understand who our 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?
- Work collaboratively and effectively with others at all levels.
- Deliver results – are you able to adopt a structured and planned approach?
- Manage relationships - can you work closely with clients and senior colleagues to define and meet their needs, and build relationships effectively?
- Deal with change - can you generate new ideas and tackle change positively?
- Collate and analyse information effectively in order to make informed decisions.
- Can demonstrate that you have clear and effective written and verbal communication skills.
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 Apprenticeship scheme, so we expect you to know why you want to join our organisation and be part of this scheme in particular. Find out more about us on this website.
- 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.
- 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.
Diversity and Inclusion: We are a company where every individual is able to succeed and is encouraged to reach their full potential within a culture that promotes diversity, inclusion and mutual respect. We value all our people and the contribution they make to the success of our organisation. Find out more about our Diversity and Inclusion policy.
Positive action: We apply positive action in our apprentice recruitment process. Positive action is a range of measures allowed under the Equality Act 2010 which can be lawfully taken to encourage and train people from under-represented groups to help them overcome disadvantages in competing with other applicants.
Applications for our September 2019 apprenticeship scheme have now closed.