Around 200 apprentices have started work at Network Rail depots across Britain after completing their first year’s training at Europe’s largest engineering training facility at HMS Sultan in Hampshire.
The apprentices specialise in track, signalling, telecoms and electrification and plant. Over the next two years they will work under supervision gaining vital experience as they train to become maintenance technicians. They will return to HMS Sultan for further courses and training throughout this time.
Mac Andrade, Network Rail’s director of maintenance said: “Having a highly skilled and dedicated workforce will help us deliver a better maintained and performing railway, so welcoming yet another 200 apprentices into our depots is fantastic for us. Our experienced engineers and technicians will further their training on-the-job, teaching them all they need to know to become invaluable members of the Network Rail team.”
Kelsey Everton, 19 and from Smethwick in the West Midlands will be based at Sandwell and Dudley depot learning electrification and plant. She commented on the scheme: “I’d like to eventually teach on the apprenticeship scheme, it’s been a great experience. There has been a lot of hard work but have made some good friends and there has been some good banter. There are only six girls on the course this year but it’s been a good experience. My friends think it’s a little weird that I am doing this but I would urge them – and anyone else – to do it.”
Dan Tinsley from Rotherham in Yorkshire will be based at Doncaster depot learning electrification and plant. He previously worked in retail and construction part time. He said: “I will be working in a trade which is what I have always wanted. The quality of education has been high and the standard of tools we learn with is great. I am a driven person and now want to do my best. I won’t rush it though. I want to know the work inside out. I took a pay-cut to do the course but there are good career prospects ahead of me. I would definitely recommend the apprenticeship scheme.”