NETWORK Rail pledges to recruit an extra 140 new apprentices to its award-winning Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme, with 24 places available across Anglia.The three-year scheme will now offer 300 young people the chance to “earn while they learn in 2017. Apprentices will be recruited in two intakes in March and September and will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, transferable skills and recognised qualifications.The apprentices will spend their first five months at Network Rail’s modern training facility near Coventry, specialising in one of five areas: electrification and plant, overhead lines, signalling, telecoms or track. They then move to their local depots to learn through on-the-job training on the railway’s front line, gaining knowledge and vital skills from experienced team members, complemented by additional off-railway learning throughout the rest of their time on the scheme.Network Rail group HR director, Ian Iceton said: “Network Rail has been committed to providing opportunities for young people to develop and progress into a rewarding career for more than ten years. Britain’s railways are one of this country’s success stories and apprentices are a vital part of our 36,000-strong team working to deliver our £40 billion Railway Upgrade Plan to make our railway better and bigger.”I urge anyone that has the determination, talent and enthusiasm to work in a role where you not only make a difference every single day but also contribute to building the railway for the future to join us by applying for the Advanced Apprenticeship scheme today. Last year, Network Rail received more than 4,000 applications for the Advanced Apprenticeship scheme. Apprentices join the 20,000-strong orange army of front line engineers and technicians who fix and maintain the rail infrastructure, enabling 1.6 billion rail journeys to be made every year. The majority of those coming through the apprentice scheme also progress their career with Network Rail, with 85% of those who started on the scheme in 2005, when it was first launched, still working for the organisation.Mohammed Isa, 20, from East London, joined the Advanced Apprenticeship scheme in September 2015: “I did A-Levels in economics and business accounting and my cousin suggested that I apply for an apprenticeship. I’ve always liked engineering so applied to Network Rail. I was glad I was accepted as it allowed me to finish my A-Levels. There are four ex-apprentices working at my depot so it gives me hope that there are opportunities once I have got my apprenticeship. My ambition is to be a team leader or assistant team leader and maybe do a degree. The Network Rail Advanced Apprenticeship scheme is open to anyone who is 18 by 1st March 2017. Further details, including cases studies of current and former apprentices talking about their own experiences, can be found on our website: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/apprentices. The closing date for applications for the March intake of apprentices is Monday 31st October 2016.Notes to editorsDepots across the Anglia route are based in Broxbourne, Cambridge, March, Ely, Colchester, Ipswich, Romford, Tottenham or Norwich.Case studies of current and graduated apprentices from across Britain are available on request.More than 2,000 people have joined Network Rail’s Advanced Apprenticeship scheme since its launch in 2005. These include school and college leavers as well as those that were unhappy with their jobs, and chose to go back and into training to secure a more stable, long-term career.About Network Rail’s Advanced Apprenticeship SchemeNetwork Rail’s Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme is a three-year programme that equips apprentices with the skills and experience to become a maintenance engineering technician.The scheme is open to applicants over 18 years of age and has no upper age limit.Paid learning:In the first year, apprentices are paid £8,618 £1,150 when they successfully finish the year; the salary will rise to £12,055 in the second; and £14,364 in the third. The salary is currently under review.Network Rail provides food and accommodation for apprentices for the first 20 weeks of the scheme, when the apprentices are based at its training centre in the West Midlands.Qualifications:After three years, apprentices will have the qualifications (NVQ, BTec and ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management)) and skills to develop a long-term career with Network Rail. There are further opportunities to study a foundation degree for those who demonstrate the commitment and ability.
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