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Our level 2 operations apprenticeship is your opportunity to learn on the job whilst studying for a professional qualification.

Start your career with us and do meaningful work every day at Network Rail.

Sarah, one of our level 2 apprentices, wearing an orange hi visibility jacket and a hard hat.

About you

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You're 18 years or older

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You don’t need any specific qualifications​

Whilst no specific qualifications are required. We look for candidates that can demonstrate the following behaviours:

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Calm under pressure

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Great communicator

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Team worker

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Problem solver

Where will I be based?

Our apprenticeship locations are:

  • Colchester
  • Cambridge
  • Ipswich
  • London – Liverpool Street
  • Willesden

This scheme is now closed

We will update this page in advance of taking applications for our next intake.

Your training programme

Our 12-month programme gives you practical hands-on experience and strong foundations of industry knowledge.

The apprenticeship will prepare you to secure a permanent signaller role and to develop a long term, rewarding career in operations. Over the course of the 12 months, you’ll experience other areas of operations such as incident response, electrical control, planning, maintenance and stations.

You’ll also have a placement with a Train Operating Company to get another perspective of our rail network.

We'll prepare you for your final assessment in becoming a member of the Institution of Railway Operators to become a qualified signaller.

So take ownership of your career journey and join a company where you’ll do meaningful work every day.

Your learning journey

Watch the video below to hear from Ivy and Katie, who talk through their experiences during their placements on the programme.

You matter to us

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You support Britain’s economic development

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A great alternative to full time education by learning on the job

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You’ll have opportunities for progression to realise your potential

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You gain a professional qualification

Your salary & benefits

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£26,485 starting salary

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Performance related pay scheme to recognise your work

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Subsidies of up to 75% on rail and underground season tickets

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My benefits – Our discounted online shopping site

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28 days annual leave

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A range of pension schemes

What opportunities are available at the end of the scheme?

As well as gaining a signaller qualification, your different experiences on the scheme opens up opportunities across our business. After securing your initial Signalling role, the possibilities are endless. Hear from Owen, one of our ex-apprentices.

How to apply

  • Application – completed on our career's portal, you'll need an up to date CV
  • Application questions – completed online, you'll need 10 minutes in a safe, quiet location where you’re comfortable to answer questions about your interest and understanding of the apprenticeship programme
  • Virtual assessment – you'll take part in in an online assessment which will include a Video interview to talk through your skills and experiences in more detail.
  • Pre-employment checks – As part of the virtual assessment, you’ll need to provide your documents to prove your identity and right to work in the UK – proof of address, driving licence and national insurance
  • Offer – you'll receive a call from our Careers Team to discuss further details including your medical declaration
  • Induction – you'll receive more information about your apprenticeship programme


Your well-being and the health and safety of our workforce is our top priority; we are following guidance from Public Health England and are taking extra precautions to reduce risk. This means all interviews and assessments will be held virtually.

Application advice

We want to see you at your best, so here are some tips to help you during the application process.

Application tips

Assessment centre tips

Interview tips

What is signalling?

Signalling is essentially a sophisticated traffic light system for the railway.

As a signaller at the end of your scheme, you’ll take great care to make sure trains travel safely and efficiently along your part of the network.

Signallers typically work within a signal box. The network runs day and night and so you’ll be comfortable working on a shift pattern basis to keep our passengers moving.

Whilst you’ll be part of a signal box team, you’ll also be comfortable with working on your own for long periods of time.

And when things do go wrong, you’ll use your training, problem solving skills and quick thinking to get our passengers moving safely onwards to their destination.

Watch the video to find out what signals do and how you could play a part as a Signaller in the running of Britain’s railway.

This scheme is now closed

We will update this page in advance of taking applications for our next intake.

Frequently asked questions

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