The breadth and range of apprenticeships offered by the rail industry looks set to expand this autumn.
Plans are in progress to offer 600 apprenticeships with Network Rail.
New and expanded opportunities will include cyber security and digital railway, as the industry seeks to future-proof skills sets.
The company is currently recruiting 177 apprentices to join its award-winning Advanced Apprenticeships Scheme – which delivers front-line engineers.
As well as the Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme, Network Rail wants to increase the number and range of business apprenticeships that it offers.
These include apprenticeships in corporate functions such as accounting, HR, project management and commercial surveying all leading to professional qualifications.
The number on offer will be doubled over the next year.
Says Guy Wilmshurst- Smith, head of professional development, ‘Network Rail is committed to investing in the future talent that we need to build and maintain the bigger, better railway that Britain wants, and apprentices are a vital part of that Railway Upgrade Plan.
‘The rail industry is one of Britain’s success stories as more and more people want to travel by train.
‘Demand has doubled over the last 20 years and is set to double again in the next 25 years, so we need more people to help make that possible.
‘Unlike many apprenticeships, our schemes have no upper age limits, so are suitable for anyone wanting to build a career in an industry that impacts millions of people every day.
‘All that we ask is that our applicants have a passion for making a difference.’
Marisa Bajerski is just completing her first year of the Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme. ‘I’ve loved my time so far on the apprenticeship scheme.
‘There has been so much variety in the job – from working inside an office to being out on a track – and I’m meeting and working with different people all the time.
‘It has given me so much confidence in myself and my abilities, especially now that I’m based in a depot and can really see my work helping people to make their rail journeys and get to where they need to be.’