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February 11 2022
With the UK rail industry being one of the fastest growing in Europe, it makes sense that a lot of people are now considering a career in rail engineering, and the perfect place for young people like you who are now exploring career options to get started in this area is with a rail engineering apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships have always been popular due to the fact that you get the hands-on experience needed to do your job effectively as well as the theoretical education and a salary, so it’s really a perfect balance.
On the employer side, apprenticeships look great on your CV as they show true commitment and willingness to learn.
If you’re currently in the position of deciding if a rail engineering apprenticeship is the right move for you, here are 10 benefits to this career path:
Of course, joining an apprenticeship programme - especially one as technical as rail engineering isn’t something to decide lightly, and you really need to be sure this is what you want to do and be willing to commit to it.
Although it’s going to be more than worth it, we don’t want you to just take our word for it, so here some examples from people who took the leap into a rail engineering apprenticeship to share their stories with you:
Tia Anderson is an apprentice making great progress, becoming a white hat earlier this year and with only a few months left until she completes her apprenticeship programme.
Having previously worked in a warehouse, she really wanted to learn a ‘proper’ trade. When she applied for the NVQ Level 2 Rail Engineering programme, she impressed McGinley staff with her enthusiasm. She started in January 2021 in the classroom, getting the small tool tickets. Then it was out on track, going to depots and worksites around the South East, working in different gangs and growing her knowledge of different tasks.
Tia comments on her apprenticeship so far “McGinley has looked after me, friendly people ready to give me information, keep finding me shifts and different roles to broaden my knowledge. It’s been a really good experience. The sector is male-dominated, but that never bothered me”
When asked what she would tell new recruits or anyone considering joining the railway Tia said “For any new apprentices, I’d say it’s important to ask questions – helps me improve.”
Kelly Hill started her apprenticeship at the same time as Tia. That apprenticeship intake had 40% women, a record for our training partner Intertrain.
After her initial training, Kelly was out on track, working in different gangs to develop her knowledge of different elements of the role. It was here that Kelly found her enthusiasm and talent for safety, as a result, Kelly was allocated to safety-critical tasks, setting up the worksite before the rest of the gang arrive and signposting the site with marker boards.
When interviewed, Kelly stated that she found arriving at Waterloo station as a woman in hi-viz a bit daunting with so many men around, yet she has now feels settled and is enjoying time with her gangs. She added that sometimes the role is stressful with time pressure, but is never in any need to rush or cut corners – as it’s her role to help maintain safety on site.
Kelly told us that “I really like the safety-critical type of work, which I want to progress when I complete the apprenticeship programme in a few months’ time. It would be good to find out more about possessions and line blockages.”
“If anyone is thinking about an apprenticeship, do it! There’s loads of support financially and with training, so many paths to choose.”
So, if you are 18 or over and a rail engineering apprenticeship sounds like an option for you, contact our McGinley Apprenticeship team at email@example.com to find out more.