Our Mechanical engineering scheme for graduates

Who you are

You’re a logical thinker who’s adept at finding creative solutions to challenging problems. Resourceful and hardworking, you’re comfortable managing your own time to ensure you get the job done. Using your strong interpersonal skills, you’re able to build relationships with colleagues, suppliers and customers. You're flexible and don’t mind traveling to attend training opportunities at various locations to develop your personal skill set.

How long is the scheme?

Two years

Where you’ll be based

Opportunities are available across Britain, at locations including: Stratford, Derby, York, Glasgow, London, Basingstoke, Reading, Bristol, Swindon, Birmingham, Milton Keynes

What you’ll be doing

Faced with a variety of unique and exciting mechanical engineering challenges, you’ll develop skills in a range of specialisms – from power distribution, plant, traction and rolling stock to asset management and infrastructure engineering. Through four rotational placements you’ll gain a broad perspective of the railway and learn all about the processes, products and systems that make it function.

You might be involved with rejuvenating and servicing current infrastructure, or delivering ambitious improvements to track equipment, signalling and overhead lines to improve passenger comfort and safety.

What’s more, you’ll benefit from formal learning opportunities and management skills training, and be assigned a mentor to support your personal and professional development.

Entry requirements

Minimum of a 2:2 in an Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) accredited degree

What professional qualifications could you gain?

Significant evidence towards incorporated (IEng) or chartered (CEng) engineer status, accredited by the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC).

What opportunities are available at the end of the scheme?

Previous graduates have gone on to achieve internal promotion and become assistant project engineers, assistant design engineers, assistant asset engineers or rail fleet support engineers. There are also plenty of opportunities for promotion to senior management positions across the organisation.

Why you should choose this scheme

The scheme is aligned to UK-SPEC objectives and is accredited by IMechE. You’ll have access to world-class training and the opportunity to be involved in some of the biggest engineering projects in Britain.

Hear from our recent graduate:

Miran, Mechanical engineer

View our application process

With the size of the business and breadth of activities, it’s pretty much impossible to not find the right place. Whether more technical or more managerial, the role and culture exists for everyone to fit in and gain exposure to the whole rail industry, meaning a multidisciplinary professional development is guaranteed and the route to Chartership is eased and spurred on.

Giulio Buscaglione, Mechanical Engineering scheme

How would you describe the breadth of Network Rail's work and the breadth of our opportunities for graduates?

I would say that being a part of the company that owns, operates and upgrades the whole of Britain's rail infrastructure gives almost unlimited access to all sorts of engineering disciplines, and more interestingly, their interaction and management. The fact that everyone in the industry is so open means you are free to experience almost any type of role, from hands-on maintenance to project management, policy setting or new designs.

How varied have you found your role at Network Rail?

I can honestly say that having any two identical days has been a rare occurrence, especially in the first months, where the scheme provides for rotating through any part of the business, even on a daily basis.

In my current role, the scope of the projects I am working on is so varied that I go from engaging with worldwide suppliers or European policy setters to managing internal clients, regarding both technical and organisational issues, alongside developing myself on a personal and professional level.

What's the most exciting work you've done here?

Without a doubt, my ongoing contribution to the modelling of the future signalling system. At university, I had always enjoyed all kinds of computer modelling and simulation, and now I’m working on validating a software that simulates rail traffic flows with the next generation of signalling. The results of the simulations are used to better define now what we will be doing tomorrow.

It feels great to use my ever-growing skills and knowledge to contribute to billion-pound decisions rather than just university module grades!

What's been the best thing for you?

The attitude everyone has across the whole of Network Rail. The transition from university to ‘adult' life is a difficult and uncertain one, and it’s been great to have significant support and helpful, constructive advice from all around the company. It’s been great to take it all on board and have numerous contributions to my future career plans.

Why Network Rail?

With the size of the business and breadth of activities, it’s pretty much impossible to not find the right place. Whether more technical or more managerial, the role and culture exists for everyone to fit in and gain exposure to the whole rail industry, meaning a multidisciplinary professional development is guaranteed and the route to Chartership is eased and spurred on.