March 6 2023

Day in the Life of an Apprentice: Ellie Riley

Meet Ellie - our Level 2 Rail Engineering Operative Apprentice!


What led you to apply for an apprenticeship?  

I felt it was time to do this and pushed myself allowing nothing to hold me back. I applied to work for telecommunications businesses fitting cables and for construction roles but had no response.  I started to think maybe construction might be a ‘man’s sector’ after all and no place for me.

Then I spotted a job advertisement by McGinley, they were asking women to apply, guaranteeing them an interview if interested.

I joined one of the McGinley virtual information, advice and guidance sessions to hear about their apprentice programme, I liked them, they were very genuine, and they gave us the full picture, warts, and all. I imagine lots of people were put off, but I was filled with excitement and could see myself building a career repairing rail tracks. 80% of the apprenticeship is on the job, my preferred way of learning. Doing this apprenticeship meant I would have an income; I would earn whilst I learn.


What are your highlights so far?

  • Being accepted
  • Learning something new every day
  • Building up my experience and tickets


How has McGinley supported you during your apprenticeship?

McGinley has been great, any problems that have arisen they have solved straight away.


What do you hope to do after your apprenticeship/what are your future career goals?

I have spoken with my manager at McGinley about my aspirations and I want a career in S&T, signalling pays good money and I like the idea of one day moving to Canada or America.


What advice do you have for other women thinking of working in this industry?

Anything is possible, never stop with your dreams and be you. This industry offers flexible working and the chance to work shifts outside of the 9-5, and McGinley is accommodating in assigning you shifts that best suit you. It would be great to have more women working alongside me.


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