Apprenticeships provide a fantastic opportunity for anyone who wants to learn new skills and is prepared to work hard and get ahead.
This is the message from Jay Williams, during National Apprenticeship Week in March, who completed his Network Rail apprenticeship in 2011.
Since graduating from the apprenticeship scheme, Jay, 24, has had four promotions within the company. He now works as a signalling asset engineer in Swindon and recently achieved his dream of buying his first home.
He said: “I didn’t have the easiest start in life, but joining the scheme gave me the opportunity to turn my life around. I’ve worked hard, and in the space of seven years I’ve gone from being homeless to owning my own home.
“I would, and often do, recommend the scheme to anyone and everyone that will listen. Hopefully I am living proof that apprenticeships give young people the opportunity to create a real future for themselves, irrespective of their background.”
Research from Network Rail shows that its Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme puts people on track for a prosperous and rewarding career. A survey of graduates from the scheme found that:
- More than half of those surveyed were the first among their friends to buy a house (52%)
- Almost three quarters (71%) said they were the first in their friendship group to be promoted
- Nearly half (43%) say they are on track for a senior management position within the next five years
- 69% of those surveyed said they feel they are in a role where they are making a real difference
- 62% of our graduated apprentices feel they have made decisions that directly impact the business
Mark Carne, Network Rail’s chief executive, said: “Our apprenticeship scheme has been running for ten years and we are incredibly proud of what our graduates, like Jay, have gone on to achieve. Many tell us that our scheme has fast-tracked them towards achieving personal and professional goals ahead of their friends, such as managing a team and buying a house.
“Our graduated apprentices are living proof that there should be no stigma associated with apprenticeships, and that with the right attitude and work ethic, you can reap the rewards alongside those who have chosen a university route. In fact, many of our apprentices have gone on to gain higher qualifications, including degrees, through our education programme.
“I would urge employers, teachers and parents to join forces to educate young people about the fantastic benefits that an apprenticeship can offer, both in a personal and professional capacity.”
Network Rail apprentices form part of the company’s 20,000-strong orange army of front line engineers and technicians who maintain, renew and upgrade the railway across Britain. This year, Network Rail is looking to recruit 150 apprentices nationwide to help deliver its £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers.
More information about Network Rail’s Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme is available on the company’s website HERE.