Network Rail London Rail apprentices hit the track running

11th Jul 2011

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.

Steve Featherstone, director of maintenance at Network Rail, said: “Getting out on the railway, learning on the job, responding to incidents and gaining experience from our specialists is a vital part of our apprenticeship scheme. Every day, our apprentices will be part of a team making sure we get three million people to work and home again. It’s rewarding and of great value to Britain.

“The railway is becoming ever 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 an HNC, 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.”

Vicky Fox, 22, from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire is a Network Rail apprentice based at London Euston, specialising in signalling. Vicky comments on why she joined the scheme: “I have always showed a keen interest in engineering ever since I was a young girl. After completing my GCSEs I attended an engineering college and it opened my eyes to the different aspects and how you could branch out into them. I saw the Network Rail scheme and it seemed like a brilliant opportunity to gain an engineering qualification and do it with a well known company.”


Bilal Jamil, 19, from Walthamstow in London is a Network Rail apprentice based at Finsbury Park. Bilal comments on why he joined the scheme: “I had a special interest in engineering but didn’t want to go university. Instead, I decided to study and put that into practice at the same time. This career path offered a lot of options and possible promotion, but if you want it you have to work hard for it. No one else offered the range of qualifications that the Network Rail scheme had and it was just what I was looking for - BTEC and NVQs along with practical hands on experience. Getting paid to learn, what else could I ask for?

“The teaching has been at a very high quality; the instructors have a very good engineering background and have developed my skills in an enjoyable way. I have gained the confidence to think like an engineer and learnt about working with others. I’m determined to step into the workplace with pride for my company, respect for others and working as a team.”

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