Network Rail is seeking to recruit seven engineers of the future from Wales and Borders to join its hugely successful apprentice scheme from September this year.
Places are available in Hereford, Llandrindod and Machynlleth for the three-year Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship Scheme, which is open to applications until Monday 12 March.
The apprentices will play a vital role in the 20,000-strong team of front line engineers and technicians who fix and maintain Britain’s rail infrastructure. They will have the opportunity to ‘earn while they learn’, gaining valuable work experience, transferable skills and recognised qualifications along the way.
The scheme has been running since 2005, with a total of 2,000 engineers completing the scheme, and is open to anyone who will be aged 18 on or before 29 September 2018, with no upper age limit.
Andy Thomas, route managing director for Network Rail in Wales and Borders said: “We are committed to attracting new people to the railway and to developing their potential. Our advanced apprenticeship scheme is the ideal platform for this.
“The 1600 people working for Wales and Borders are our greatest asset and central to delivering a safe and reliable railway for our customers and stakeholders every day.”
Stephen Stokes, 28, from Abergavenny, is currently completing the advanced apprenticeship scheme in signalling and is due to complete his training in Autumn 2019.
He said: “The scheme has opened up some great opportunities for me. I have been accepted for an IET (Institute for Engineering & Technology) bursary and I have also signed up to become a STEM ambassador, where I will be able to encourage young people to pursue their dream of becoming engineers or technicians.
“I have a new purpose now, and am proud to say I work for Network Rail. I always stress to colleagues I meet through the scheme how important it is to not only find a job that you are good at, but also one that you enjoy and fuels your passion.”
The first 21 weeks of the scheme are spent living and learning at Network Rail’s state of the art training centre in the Midlands. Apprentices then spend the rest of the scheme working from a depot close to home, specialising in disciplines such as electrification, signalling, telecoms and track.
With hands-on projects and dedicated support, apprentices can also study for further qualifications and gain chartered membership of a professional engineering institute.
Apprentices are guaranteed a job upon completion of the three-year course and more than four in five of those who started on the scheme a decade ago are still working for Network Rail today.
The scheme also has a far higher retention rate than the national average for engineering. 75% of those that complete the scheme choose to go into employment with Network Rail, compared to the national average for engineering of 55%.