Level 3 Engineering Apprenticeship – Application process and advice
Before starting your application, we recommend that you read this information:
What you’ll need
- Four GCSE’s:
- Maths, grade 9-5 (A*-C)
- English language, grade 9-4 (A*-C)
- A science or engineering subject, grade 9-4 (A*- C).
- One other subject, grade 9-4 (A*-C)
- For Scotland it’s four Scottish Standard 1-3/National 5.
- NVQ or BTEC Level 2 or above in an Engineering subject is acceptable instead of a science GCSE
- NVQ or BTEC level 2 is acceptable instead of the one other subject
- We accept the equivalent qualifications from all the UK countries. You can refer to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education's guide to comparing qualifications in the UK. (If you’re not sure just get in touch with us)
- We accept iGCSE’s
- We accept Functional skills Level 2 in Maths and English instead of the GCSE (nb -All 3 parts in English must be completed)
- 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. If we offer you a place it will be conditional on you achieving the qualifications before the start date.
- If you gained your qualifications outside the UK we’ll need a NARIC translation (www.naric.org.uk).
- We accept most equivalent qualifications but there are some that we can’t accept as they don’t provide the right level of prior learning. It’s not easy for us to give a complete list so we do reserve the right not to accept a qualification. If you’re not sure just get in touch with us
- If you are successful and we offer you a place you’ll need to show us your certificates
You’ll need to be aged 18 on or before 27 September 2021. There’s no upper age limit.
- It’s a safety critical role, so there are also some medical and physical fitness requirements to meet- you’ll be asked to have a medical before you start. This includes drugs and alcohol testing.
- You’ll need to be within an hour’s travel time of the location you apply for. We’ll automatically include you for other locations within reach of your postcode, so you only need to apply once
- You’ll need to be available to start on 27 September 2021.
- Holidays during the first phase are scheduled by us – this is because of the way the training is structured.
- You’ll be asked to work shift patterns when at your depot
- You’ll be working outdoors a lot of the time
The application process
Our Match-me quiz is designed to show you what it’s like to work at Network Rail and based on your answers give you an indication as to whether you’re likely to be a good match for one of our roles.
You’ll need to register to do it but it’s not part of your application and you don’t have to go on to apply if you don’t want to. You can also skip straight to the application form if you don’t want to do the Match-me.
Our application form is quick and easy. There are no complicated questions, we just want to collect the information we need and see that you meet the minimum criteria.
As long as you meet the minimum criteria, you’ll be asked to take our online test. It’s a situational judgement test (SJT) and it works by giving you some scenarios you might come across when working at Network Rail. You’ll be asked to choose what you think are the most effective responses from multiple-choice options. It helps us assess you against our pre-defined criteria. The test isn’t timed so you can take as long as you like to do it, but it must be completed in one sitting, there isn’t an option to save and return to it.
If you think you might need us to consider an adjustment to take account of a disability or condition, please get in touch with us before you start the test.
Here are our top tips:
- Before you start, we’d recommend that you familiarise yourself with Network Rail, our purpose and the type of work we do.
- Take time to read each scenario and the response options fully before choosing
- Don’t think about the scenarios for too long, it’s usually most effective to read the scenario and go with your first reaction so you’re giving your natural response.
The final stage in the process is an assessment centre; we hold these at various locations across the country and we can also hold them virtually if we need to.
Places at assessment centre are allocated based on several things, like locations and the number of places we have available.
You’ll be asked to take part in one or two exercises and you’ll have an interview. We’re looking to find out about you and help you do your best, so we’ll try to make you feel as comfortable as possible. We’ll have a call with you beforehand to run through what you can expect and what to prepare.
We’ll want to see that you understand Network Rail’s purpose and why you think this scheme is right for you. We’ll also be looking to see evidence of your ability to work collaboratively, your approach to problem solving and working collaboratively.
Some suggestions for preparing are:
- Have a good look our website (the main site, not just the apprentice careers pages).
- Make sure you understand the requirements of the role you have applied for
- 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.
Network Rail applies 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.
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.
So now you’ve read all the important information on the website and you’re ready to get going with your application.
Check out our frequently asked questions below
We invest a lot in our apprentices because we want you to be the future of our business. There’s no obligation to stay, but we hope everyone who joins the scheme will continue to work for us after they've completed their three years and will have a long and rewarding career with us.
The scheme gives you an externally recognised qualification that is accredited by Edexcel, City & Guilds and ILM, which reflects the quality of our training. You'll also work towards a range of engineering qualifications that will help in your future career.
The safety of our people is important to us, so your training, on- or off-site, will always be supervised by established and experienced engineers. We also realise that you might be leaving home for the first time, so we provide for your safety outside working hours too.
The scheme start date is 29 September 2021.
Yes, we're able to meet any dietary requirements, including Halal and vegetarian. You just need to tell us at offer stage, so we can let the kitchen team know.
We want to set you up for success on the programme. You’ll be studying at the same time as working and so we need you to have a certain level of prior learning in specific areas before you start, as these are the foundations you’ll build on during your training.
You will need to be within a 60 minute travel time of the depot you wish to apply for. If you wish to apply for a placement outside of this travel time, please let us know during the application.
The three year programme is designed to provide you with a mixture of practical hand on experiences whilst enhancing your theory and industry knowledge. This approach will allow you to gain an all rounded appreciation of engineering in the Rail industry supported with nationally recognised qualifications.