Network Rail welcomes aboard 17 young apprentices to the Wales route to commence their three-year apprenticeship programme. They will all attend a special welcome day at the Newport Maintenance Depot at Ebbw Junction on Friday, 24 August, from 11am to 3pm.
The apprentices will be given a warm welcome by Mark Langman, Network Rail’s Route Managing Director and his team.
Mark Langman said: “I am delighted to be able to offer 17 young local people the opportunity to join the rail industry in what is an extremely exciting time for the railways here in Wales.
“We are very keen to offer employment opportunities to local people within our route and are committed to an ongoing investment in young talent as the railways across Wales grow.
“Over the next 10 years the Wales route will see huge investment and significant change including the electrification to Cardiff, Swansea and the Valley lines. The recruitment of these apprentices will play a big part in making this happen and planning for maintaining the future modernised railway.”
The apprentices are part of a 200-strong Network Rail cohort who will train at HMS Sultan, Europe’s largest engineering training facility at Gosport in Hampshire, over the next 12 months, starting in September and will continue their apprenticeship back in their ‘home depots’ within the Wales route in June 2013.
As part of the programme, all 200 Network Rail apprentices from across Great Britain will attend the Ffestiniog Railway and Welsh Highland Railway to work during the winter’s work maintenance programme.
This visit to the FR&WHR provides them with their first real experience of working on an operational railway doing the type of maintenance and repair tasks that they can expect to be doing on a day-to-day basis when working in their Network Rail depots.
Whilst the track gauge may be narrower than the national rail network, the experience gained provides the apprentices with a valuable insight into track maintenance, and enables Network Rail to make a significant contribution not only to the FR&WHR, but also to Wales and the local community by buying all services (accommodation, food, vehicle and coach hire) from businesses within the local area of Porthmadog.