Latest Rail News

20.11.12

Network Rail apprentices gain engineering degrees

Former Network Rail apprentices have graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with Higher National Certificates in railway engineering. 

Network Rail offers 40 places a year for employees to undertake the course whilst on the apprenticeship scheme. It is a two-year part-time course, with fees and accommodation paid for by Network Rail.

This year is the first cohort of students on the scheme, and a total of 64 employees received honours. 22 gained undergraduate honours in engineering (BEng), with 10 class 1 awards and 19 who completed a foundation degree in engineering.

Network Rail’s education programmes manager, Bill Templeton, said: “Investing in our people and developing their skills and knowledge is absolutely vital if we are to become better and more efficient at running the railway.”

“As the network continues to get busier and we face the challenges to get more trains on time and increase capacity, we will need a more highly skilled workforce to achieve these. It makes absolute sense for us to develop the excellent talent we have coming through our advanced apprenticeship scheme and I am convinced that this form of pipeline development will make us a more attractive employer for other bright men and women seeking a career in engineering.”

Stuart Birchall, portfolio director for UK Collaborative Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Studying for the HNC raises former apprentices' knowledge of engineering theory as applied to the rail industry and complements the experience they gain in the workplace. After completing the HNC, students are able to progress onto our foundation degree (FdEng) and can ultimately consider studying the full bachelor of engineering (BEng) here at the University. I am extremely pleased to see the first cohort of students complete the HNC and hope that they consider continuing to study.”

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