Network Rail has welcomed the 3,000th apprentice to their company in the space of just over four years!
Back in April 2017, the UK Government introduced the apprenticeship levy, providing funding for new apprenticeship programmes, vital in helping thousands of people develop and learn new skills where on-the-job training is combined with studying towards a qualification.
Now over 3,000 individuals have made a start on a career with Network Rail, across almost 50 different types of apprenticeships, covering a range of departments.
Different levels of apprenticeships are offered, making them suitable for a variety of individuals.
Thomas Briggs, joining as a Level 2 Rail Infrastructure Operations (Signalling) apprentice, becomes the 3,000th apprentice. Based at Saxmundham in Suffolk, this apprenticeship has only been recently launched by Network Rail, where Thomas will learn everything he needs to become a successful signaller, starting a career, hopefully, a long one, in operations.
Thomas, said: “I’m privileged to be part of this new scheme. Knowing there are thousands of apprentices before me leading the way gives me real confidence. This apprenticeship has given me an alternative to university and the associated debt, so I’m very grateful for the levy and how it’s helping people like me join the railway. The average age of a signaller is 45, so I’m excited to see what opportunities arise in the future and how I can help the railway recover from the pandemic.
“My mum works on the railway as a stations operations specialist and she’s been a big influence on my decision to join Network Rail. She’s always spoken so highly of the organisation and the way they take care of you. My sister and brother-in-law also worked for Network Rail so we’re fast becoming a new railway family.”
Network Rail’s route director for Anglia Ellie Burrows said: “Signallers are vital to the safe and reliable running of passenger and freight services across the network. This new apprenticeship will help to build resilience and help us to meet demand for signallers in the Anglia region.
“Our engineering apprenticeship has proven to be really successful and I hope this new apprenticeship focussing on the operation of the railway inspires even more people to consider a career in the industry.”
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