Skip to content

Kick start you career in finance, through a mixture of professional training and real-life work experience.

Network Rail apprentices sat at an office desk

You’ll have the chance to see all areas of our organisation and see how we get the most value from money.

Salary: £17,000

Location: Milton Keynes and regional offices

Start date: Applicants must be available to start from September 2021

Who you are

You have an analytical mind and a flair for financial planning. You’re enthusiastic about your work, enjoy collaborating with others and have the skills and ability to communicate with a variety of different audiences.

This is an excellent scheme which provides exposure to difference areas and aspects of finance. We invest in our apprentices because we want them to be the future of our business. We are looking for apprentices who are driven, hardworking and demonstrate Network Rail’s values and behaviours.

How long is the scheme?

From 4.5 to 5 years

Where you’ll be based

First 3 years based in Milton Keynes, with the option to complete the following 1.5 to 2 years based in one of our regional offices including Scotland and Wales.

College is a mixture of online and classroom-based study (mainly in Milton Keynes) for the duration of the scheme (one day a week on average).

What you’ll be doing

Your key activities will include assisting finance teams with forecasting, budgeting and analysis as well as taking the lead on meetings and reporting to senior members of the company. You’ll have projects on the go and off the job training (20%) to make sure you’re getting all the skills you need to develop as a future leader. As an Apprentice you will rotate placements across a wide range of departments giving you a unique experience of how finance works within Network Rail.

First two and a half years to three years

During the first two and a half years to three years, you will complete rotational placements along with college study. You will be studying the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification as part of the Level 3 and Level 4 apprentice programme. Alongside this, you will gain business knowledge during various rotations within our finance functions based at Milton Keynes headquarters. You will be involved in a variety of periodic management accounting activities such as balance sheet reconciliations, variance analysis and reporting and business partnering with non-finance functions, as well as project related tasks. 

Remainder of the scheme

From year 4 onwards, you have the option to complete placements in our route businesses within the regions whilst studying the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification. You can utilise the experience you have gained from projects, the understanding of transactional accounting and the knowledge of policies and procedures to add real value to the business areas you will be working in.

Due to the exposure and experience provided in the early years of the scheme, apprentices are often in demand to complete complex projects for finance leaders.

You are supported by your line manager and your apprenticeship talent coach in developing your Personal Development Plan (PDP).We also encourage our new entrants to collaborate together and attend development days and volunteering opportunities.

Entry requirements

This is an entry level scheme designed as an alternative route to university, you cannot apply if you are a graduate already or hold a Level 3 and/or a Level 4 qualification (i.e. AAT).

We are looking for individuals who align with Network Rail’s values and behaviours, with a curiosity for numbers and a keenness to succeed.

  • Good IT skills and the ability to learn systems quickly (Excel, PowerPoint, Word)
  • Collaborative team player
  • Ability to deliver under a challenging working environment
  • Ability to manage activities to agreed timelines whilst balancing work and exams
  • Strong business acumen and an aptitude for numbers

What professional qualifications could you gain?

Apprentices complete AAT level 3 and level 4, and CIMA level 7 apprenticeship programme and receive Associate status with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)


AAT Bookkeeper (AATQB) – Level 3

Professional MAAT – Level 4

Associate Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA)

Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)

What opportunities are available at the end of the scheme?

Upon completion you’ll be given the support needed to continue your career at Network Rail and move into one of our finance roles.

The Finance Apprentice scheme was started in 2015 and is now in its fifth year, with its first cohort securing permanent finance roles as they roll off the scheme. This is because we recognise, develop and promote talent.

Why you should choose this scheme

The scheme gives apprentices an alternative route to university and provides a unique opportunity to understand different aspects of finance and how they interact with the wider business. The study support is generous compared to other finance schemes, with time and space given to ensure apprentices can complete the qualifications with minimal pressure and have ample opportunities to apply their learning in the workplace. 

Former apprentices and senior finance leaders support and mentor apprentices to empower them to improve and develop the scheme. Apprentices are encouraged to work independently and are supported by senior leaders to excel in high pressured environments to prepare them for their next career move.

The finance scheme has a well-established feedback and support mechanism for the apprentices via buddies, mentors and line managers to help them develop and progress their career. In Finance, we value our apprentices and promote agile and flexible working.

This scheme is now closed

To be notified when our schemes are live again, register your interest.

Together we can end domestic abuse