Network Rail, Wales rail apprentices hit the track running

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.”

Adam Sergeant, 21, from Wales is a Network Rail apprentice based in his home town of Newport, specialising in electrification and plant. Adam comments on why he joined the scheme and how it has helped prepare him for working on the railway:


“I applied to Network Rail to seek a career in electrical engineering. I researched the scheme and it ticked all the right boxes offering me the opportunity to be involved in developing Britain’s railways. With so much investment and vision for the railways there was no better time to apply.

“The fact that I would gain an NVQ, BTEC and an ILM qualification as well as pay me a wage, pay for my living expenses and me showed me that Network Rail is committed to the scheme. Network Rail had so much to offer me; it was an opportunity I could not pass up.”

“My knowledge of the railway and engineering has grown from the first day and the tutors have taught me a lot about what to expect in the workplace and were more than willing to pass there knowledge on to me. I have learnt to communicate effectively, how to work as part of a team and have been continuously working hard to improve my fitness levels.

“I am committed to taking full advantage of every opportunity I get. The outcome of my apprenticeship is in my hands, and using everything I have learnt in the first year, I will continue to work to the best of my ability and strive to make my mark in Network Rail.”

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