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Network Rail seeks 15 more apprentices

Network Rail has announced that it will recruit 15 more apprentices into its 2016 intake due into increased demand.

Aspiring apprentices have until 18 July to apply for the three-year scheme, which begins with 20 weeks training at Network Rail’s development centre near Coventry before they move to depots around the country to learn while working.

Tina Purkis, head of human resources for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “This is a fabulous opportunity for young people to gain valuable work experience, transferable skills and recognised qualifications in one of the UK’s most exciting industries.”

Difficulties recruiting the next generation of the workforce are a key problem facing the rail industry, with an estimated 36,000 shortfall in graduate engineers.

The government has appointed a new taskforce to look at how to meet the target of 30,000 new transport apprenticeships by 2020.

Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, recently said that the stigma against apprenticeships must end.

An extra 15 apprenticeships doesn’t sound like much, but the fact that the Network Rail scheme is so popular it is a small but encouraging sign that the recruitment tide is starting to turn.

To apply for the apprenticeship scheme, click here.

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Peter Gordon   06/07/2016 at 08:17

I can't help feeling that the term apprentice is rather dated (blue collar and not necessarily an internationally transferable skill which matters to youngers and unfortunately may soon do so even more). What you need is bursaries to do engineering degrees (possibly with a training bond although I'm not sure how that would work) with entry on completion to a graduate trainee scheme. Engineering needs to be seen as a "thinking" rather than "metal bashing" profession - which of course it already largely is. Also I think that the railway industry has a reputation for being insular and lacking can do. Its not always good at delivering schemes. The case is not always put for better public transport (far too much talk about mode transfer from air to rail on a few routes when youngers who are increasingly choosing not to drive want a comprehensive public transport system). HS2 is seen as something of an engineering led vanity scheme rather than the best way to upgrade the system. The system can't even extend DOO or introduce some all night services without a bust up. All this may not be entirely fair but its a perception and one that the industry needs to change.

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