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More rail apprentices needed to work on Western route electrification

07 March 2012

We're boosting our talent pool of electrical engineering technicians to support the electrification of the Great Western main line by recruiting an additional 18 apprentices to be based in Bristol, Didcot and Reading.


Young people from across south west and the Thames Valley who are interested in a career in electrical engineering should consider applying for our 2012 advanced apprenticeship scheme. Your skills will play a vital role in one of the most exciting railway projects in Britain.

Earn while you learn

Patrick Hallgate, our route managing director for Western said: "We have big plans to significantly transform the Western route to become one of the most advanced in Britain. We need more talented and ambitious young people to join us and be part of a 1,300 strong team in the area and help millions of people get to their destinations safely and reliably.

“Beyond their apprenticeships, employees have the opportunity to undertake a higher national certificate, 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.”

"I'd recommend the scheme to anyone"

We are also keen to attract more women to apply for the scheme. Rachel McDonnell, 22, is a technical officer based at the Swindon maintenance depot. She said: “After I left school I started applying for apprenticeships as I had always been interested in engineering and this seemed the best way to gain the skills that I needed. My neighbour recommended the Network Rail scheme and here I learned both new skills and improve on old ones from my car mechanics course.

“I have made some amazing friends who I still see on a regular basis and would recommend the scheme to anyone.”

"The HNC has been great"

Former apprentice now maintenance team leader in Rugby, Camilla Banner, 24, is studying for the HNC in Engineering through Network Rail. She said: “At school it was as if there were only two options – do A levels or go to college and then onto university, but I didn’t really want to do either, particularly if I was going to get into a huge amount of debt. An apprenticeship appealed so much more and earning whilst learning was a real motivation.

"The HNC has been great and I want to go further and do the foundation degree and a degree in engineering – I don’t want to stop here. I get asked if I had to go back would I change what’s happened, and I say no – I’d definitely do the apprenticeship again.”

How to apply

We’re open for applications via our new Facebook page where you’ll find full information and also videos, profiles and content managed by current apprentices who can respond directly to any questions.

Read about how we're investing in the Western route.