Promising apprentices have begun a three-year programme to become skilled maintenance engineering technicians at Network Rail after the company received nearly 8,000 applications for its award winning advanced apprenticeship scheme.
The apprentices will spend a year training alongside the Royal Navy at Europe’s largest engineering training facility at HMS Sultan in Hampshire.
Here they will learn both the technical skills required to work on the railway and develop leadership and teamwork behaviours which will make them more effective in their roles.
They will continue their training for two further years on-the-job at depots across the country, returning to HMS Sultan for additional courses.
These apprentices specialise in track, signalling and telecoms, overhead line and electrification and plant.
Steve Featherstone, director of maintenance at Network Rail said:
“Our apprentices will be part of a 34,000-strong team helping three million people get to work and home again to their day or night out, to their holiday or to their university or school. It’s challenging, rewarding and of great value to Britain and its economic success.
“In the future we expect the railway to become more popular and we have big plans for making it more reliable, efficient and better value for money; our apprentices will play a big role in that.”
He added: “We now have the building blocks in place so that beyond their apprenticeships, our engineers can undertake a higher national certificate, a foundation degree and then a full degree in engineering.
“They can earn while they learn and go as far as their aptitude, attitude and ambition can take them.”