Network Rail's apprenticeship drive calls for budding engineers in Wales and Borders

Network Rail is on the hunt for enthusiastic engineers as it launches it latest regional drive for new blood in the organisation as part of its Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship Scheme.

The latest call is for those in Wales and the Borders to apply when the scheme opens in March 2019. The rail operator is recruiting for its largest group of apprentices with seven spaces available across mid-Wales and the Borders. Places are available in Shrewsbury, Hereford and Llandrindod Wells for the three-year apprenticeship.

Bosses say successful apprentices will play a vital role in the team of front line engineers and technicians who fix and maintain Wales and Borders’ rail infrastructure. They will have the opportunity to ‘earn while they learn’, gaining valuable work experience, transferable skills and recognised qualifications along the way.

Bill Kelly, acting route managing director for Network Rail in Wales and Borders said: “The people working for Network Rail in Wales and Borders are our greatest asset and central to providing a safe and reliable railway for our passengers every day. It is an exciting time for the railway in Wales and Borders.  I urge anyone that has the determination, talent and enthusiasm to work in a role where you not only make a difference every single day but also contribute to building the railway for the future, to join us by applying for the Advanced Apprenticeship scheme today.”

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.

The scheme has been running since 2005, with more than 2,000 engineers completing the scheme. Those wanting to apply this time around have to be aged 18 by 1 March 2019 and there is no upper age limit.

Ben Gough, an apprentice for Network Rail Wales and Borders, based in Hereford, said: “I applied for the scheme because I believed it would be a fantastic opportunity to be involved with something that is quite different, very interesting and an important part of British engineering. Also, after reading about the scheme itself I quickly realised how many opportunities the three-year apprenticeship had to offer.”

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%.

Those wishing to apply for the scheme, can click here.

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