This is further demonstrated by the awards and recognition received by our people and initiatives. You can read about some of our most recent awards below.
Our apprenticeship programme has won the National Transport Awards’ Apprenticeship Champion of the Year Award, recognising our commitment to investing in the future talent that we need to build and maintain a bigger, better railway for Britain. Judges considered the number of apprentice places offered, evidence of progression of individual apprentices, retention rates, and future plans.
We are proud of our successful apprenticeship scheme that recruits around 300 apprentices every year and has a retention rate of 75 per cent, well above the national engineering average. We are leading the industry in developing new high-quality standards for apprenticeships and are working closely with our supply chain to maximise the number of quality apprenticeship opportunities across the sector.
The Gold ERS award is the Ministry of Defence’s prestigious badge of honour for organisations who have demonstrated outstanding support for the Armed Forces community
Network Rail, alongside 32 other organisations, was presented with the award by HRH Prince Henry of Wales (pictured, left) on Monday 9 October, at a presentation hosted by the Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon (pictured, right).
Network Rail has a host of company initiatives and policies in place to encourage and support Service personnel in the workforce, including a dedicated defence engagement manager and granting additional leave to Reservists so that they can fulfil their training requirements. Network Rail signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2015, and since then has worked closely with the Ministry of Defence to transition skills into the rail industry and develop a forces-friendly environment with its workplace.
Network Rail has a long tradition of supporting our armed forces and in employing ex-service personnel and reserve staff. There are plenty of similarities between Network Rail and the Armed forces – the challenges and pressures, where every day is different, requiring a professional can-do attitude and strong teamwork ethos.
A large number of our workforce come from an Armed Forces background and have thrived in our organisation providing the skills that are critical to our Railway Upgrade Plan and helping us to build a bigger, better railway for Britain.
A prominent figure in the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station has been recognised as one of the leading women in construction and engineering in Europe.
The important role of women in the construction and engineering industry was recognised at the Europe-wide Women In Construction and Engineering (WICE) awards in London in May 2016.
Carol Stitchman, from Network Rail, led the design for the station redevelopment and won the Best Woman Architect award. She was also the outright winner of the evening taking home the Most Distinguished Winner award as well.
More than 100 finalists entered the including engineers, construction managers and lawyers.
Winning these awards has made me immensely proud to be recognised as one of the leading women in the construction and engineering industries. It is very important to me to act as a role model to other women as well as well as raising the profile of the rail industry.
Working on a major refurbishment project such as Birmingham New Street is a challenging and rewarding experience and I would encourage every woman working in the construction industry to be proud of their achievements – no matter how big or small – and to enter these awards. It's not just about winning but working together, sharing experiences and celebrating success.
Supporting Carol’s achievements, comments from the judges praised her ‘exceptional ability to maintain the project concept and deliver the vision' and she 'clearly had an enormous, positive impact on an important and successful project’.
The redeveloped Birmingham New Street station opened in September 2015 after a £750m transformation. It forms part of Network Rail's Railway Upgrade Plan which is providing passengers across Britain with a better, more reliable railway.
If you'd like to know more about all the work we're doing to improve the railway in Britain, you can take a look at our Railway Upgrade Plan, or learn a little more about how we run the railway - where just some of the award winning projects and approaches that we're delivering are being put into practice every day.