Deciding what to do once you leave school can be a daunting decision.
There are a lot of options for young people, and it’s important to figure out what it is you’re looking for.
That’s why Jordana chose to apply for Network Rail’s engineering apprenticeship.
Here, Jordana explains why she chose Network Rail, and what it’s like to be on the apprenticeship scheme:
1. Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship, rather than go to university or straight into work?
I chose to do an apprenticeship rather than go to university or straight into work because I wanted to continue my education in a more practical based environment, one in which university would have not offered me.
I also was attracted to the prospect of having a secure position within Network Rail under completion of the scheme and having my career planned out from day one.
2. Why did you choose Network Rail?
I chose Network Rail as it was a nationally recognised company and one of the best companies to study and practice the subject of engineering.
3. What is it like to live on the campus?
I really enjoyed living at Westwood. The facilities that are provided are amazing and that really helps to make you feel comfortable and enjoy it without getting homesick.
You make so many wonderful friends and because you live and work together those bonds become really close, which is really nice.
4. What have been the highlights of your apprenticeship with Network Rail?
I really enjoyed the residential stay at Westwood. I found it was the perfect place for me to learn the skills and knowledge I needed for the job, as well learn a lot about myself and push myself out of my comfort zone.
I have also enjoyed meeting new people, who are on the apprenticeship or with the company already.
5. Would you recommend it to other women, and why?
I would definitely recommend the scheme to other women because it’s an industry which is really supporting the women in STEM movement, which is a fantastic place to be in.
6. Have you felt supported in your time as an apprentice with Network Rail?
I have felt extremely supported as an apprentice, the staff throughout the scheme are amazing and never failed to assist with any help I have needed.
7. What was the application process like, did you find it easy?
The application process was relatively simple, nothing unlike any other application process.
You are always kept up to date about your application’s progress and are provided with all the information needed, which definitely makes it a lot less stressful!
8. What do your friends and family think of what you’re doing?
My friends and family think I’m doing exactly the right thing for me. I was worried about what they would say when I told them that I didn’t want to go to university, but they have been so supportive.
Everyone I have spoken to has said how lucky I have been to have this opportunity; I have even inspired some of my friends to apply for the next intake!
9. What are some of the best things you have worked on?
Working at depot is really exciting! I have spent a lot of time with the tech team and have seen some really interesting things. We recently carried out a design on Etchingham station which involved everything from surveying to tamping.
10. What are the people that you work and train with like?
Everyone I have met within the company so far has been so lovely.
11. Do you feel fulfilled by the apprenticeship?
100%! I do not regret my decision to not go to university at all. The apprenticeship has given me both theoretical knowledge as well as practical skills. I couldn’t ask for more really.
So there you have it,firsthand from a Network Rail apprentice.
Network Rail has been voted Apprenticeship Champion of the Year 2017, and pays apprentices £9,479 during their first year, plus £1,265 for successful completion – and the pay rises each year.
Their next apprenticeship scheme begins in September 2020, and students get to live and learn at a state-of-the-art Westwood campus, giving you the chance to experience on-campus life while still earning and learning.
The campus has a gym, games room and swimming pool and all meals, accommodation and work clothes are paid for.
After that, apprentices join an engineering team at a depot close to home and work on the network, getting to put into practise everything they learn. There are depots all around the country, so you’ll never work more than half an hour’s commute away from your home.
After the three years are completed, apprentices will come away with an NVQ Level 3 in Railway Engineering and Institute of Leadership Management Level 3 qualification. Network Rail continues to develop you after this, and there are options to continue your development with a foundation degree, Bachelor of Engineering, MSC or CEng.
Network Rail invests in their people for a reason, and at the end of the scheme, there will always be a job for all apprentices.
The application process is straightforward, with no long personal statements. If you’ll be 18 or over in March 2020, just fill out the form here and you could be on your way to an apprenticeship with one of the best companies in the UK.