Apprenticeships into careers

Group of apprentices talking in training centre breakout area

This week we’re celebrating the broad range of exciting career opportunities across the railway.

It’s National Apprenticeships Week and National Careers Week from 4 to 8 March. All over Britain, young people are finding out more about the positive impact of apprenticeships and careers guidance and free resources.

Are you excited about engineering, passionate about learning and want to work as part of a team to transform Britain’s rail network? A career at Network Rail could be for you!

We’re now accepting applications for our apprenticeship scheme.

Apply to join our apprenticeship scheme

As an apprentice at Network Rail, you’ll get more than just an education – our apprentices receive expert training, earn while they learn and develop skills for life. What’s more, you’ll have the opportunity to build a career at one of Britain’s biggest employers.

You’ll have three amazing years on our apprenticeship scheme. You’ll spend your first 21 weeks living and learning at Westwood, our training centre in the Midlands. For the rest of the scheme you’ll work from a depot close to home.

It’s just the beginning of an exciting career journey that can lead to varied career options. You’ll have the chance to study for further qualifications and gain chartered membership of a professional engineering institute.

Click on the gallery to see more images of Westwood – our training centre for apprentices

Elinor Harris, 32 from Gorleston in Norfolk, is almost at the end of her three-year apprenticeship. She’s currently working at the Norwich depot.

She joined Network Rail with an interest in engineering but no knowledge of how the railway worked. Three years on, she’s learned about switches and crossings, trackside maintenance and signals, and has also had the chance to analyse data that helps with the day-to-day running of the railway.

Elinor would like to continue to work within the track discipline as a technical officer or technician and continue to broaden her knowledge and experience.

At Network Rail, you get so many opportunities to develop, and the chance to study for qualifications. It gives you a great head start to further your career.

Network Rail is a really great company to work for, and they look after their staff. You get to work with some great people, and get to work in places you would usually not get the chance to.

The experience so far been really rewarding and I have learnt so much. I am almost coming to an end of my apprenticeship and it has been an incredible experience and I have no regrets. I would certainly recommend the apprenticeship scheme to anyone.

From apprentice to senior engineer

Owen Flanders, 31 from Eye in Suffolk, started his career as a signal apprentice in 2007. He worked his way up to his current role as a senior renewals and enhancements engineer at the Stratford office. He’s responsible for looking after the signals and control systems at Liverpool Street and across the route.

He works on one of the most heavily-used freight paths in Britain, covering the mainline from London Liverpool Street to Norwich, which also enables about 32 million passenger journeys a year.

Owen Flanders, a former apprentices, sits at a table in front of a large image of a railway station
Owen Flanders

Owen has also continued his education while climbing the career ladder. Network Rail recently funded his master’s degree in engineering from the University of Birmingham.

I get to really make a difference to people’s journeys and to be part of the team responsible for making sure the signalling systems are working so passengers can get to where they need to be.

I’d encourage anyone who is leaving school or wants to change their career to think about an apprenticeship. It has given me a good knowledge of the job and has really helped me to get where I am now.



Our graduates scheme

Network Rail graduates step into history