Network Rail is urging people with an interest in engineering to apply for its Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship Scheme, starting in March 2019.
The scheme has seven vacancies available in Shrewsbury, Hereford, Llandrindod Wells, Llanelli and Llandudno and applications will close next week.
The scheme launched in 2005. To date, 2,000 engineers have completed the course.
Bill Kelly, interim managing director for Network Rail, Wales and Borders said: “There is still time to apply for our 2019 Advanced Apprenticeship scheme and I encourage anyone that has the determination to make a difference everyday while contributing to building the railway of the future to take this opportunity. Our 1,600 employees are our greatest asset and central to providing a safe and reliable railway for our passengers every day.”
Open to anyone aged 18 or over on 1 March 2019, the scheme offers the opportunity to earn a salary while gaining recognised qualifications and chartered membership of a professional engineering institute plus valuable work experience and transferable skills.
Participants are guaranteed a job after completing the course. Currently, 75 per cent of people who finish the course choose to work for Network Rail, higher than the national average of 55 per cent.
More than four in five of those who started the scheme a decade ago are still working for Network Rail today.
For the first 21 weeks of the scheme, the apprentices live and learn at Network Rail’s state of the art centre in the Midlands. The rest of the duration is spent working from a depot close to home, specialising in a variety of disciplines to provide a wider view of the industry.
The apprentices will play a vital role in the team of front line engineers and technicians who fix and maintain Wales and Borders’ rail infrastructure.
As part of its initiative to encourage young people to join the rail industry, Network Rail has launched a new partnership with youth charity, Prince’s Trust Cymru, to offer a free training programme.
The Get into Rail Engineering scheme is a two-week personal development programme, designed to give unemployed people aged between 18 and 30 years old the opportunity to learn new skills in rail engineering, and will offer young people the opportunity and support to help them apply for Level 2 and Level 3 apprenticeships with Network Rail.
The scheme will offer taster days across the Wales and Borders route to allow young adults the chance to try out a career in rail, with one taking place on 31 October in Wrexham.
Ben Gough, an apprentice for Network Rail Wales and Borders, based in Hereford said: “I applied for the scheme because I believed it would be a fantastic opportunity to be involved with something that is different, interesting and an important part of British engineering. After some research in to the scheme, I quickly realised how many opportunities the three-year scheme had to offer.
“The scheme itself has given me plenty of opportunities career-wise. Not only am I currently being trained up to a technician standard, but I am acquiring many other qualifications such as an NVQ level 3, all of which will aid me in my career in the future.”
For more information about the apprenticeship opportunities and the application process, please visit networkrail.co.uk/careers/apprenticeships/ and for information on the Prince’s Trust programmes across Wales call 0800 842 842 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.