Thameslink are using Apprentices to inspire young people to consider apprenticeship on the railway. A group made up of work experience students, apprentices, and engineers from Network Rail’s Thameslink Programme are celebrating National Apprenticeship week by visiting schools local to the London Bridge station in order to inspire young people to consider railway sector apprenticeships.
Thameslink has had the benefit of utilizing 98 apprentices working across Network Rail and their partners since 2012. Delivery partners include Costain, Balfour Beatty Rail and Siemens Rail Automation. The apprentices that are a part of the Thameslink Programme have gained valuable experience working on a variety of different sites including the London Bridge redevelopment project. The apprentices are required to build their skills both on and off the rails and have had experience in the commercial side of the business as well as being a part of the front-line railway.
Network Rail’s Apprenticeship has a higher rate of retention that the national average for engineering. 75% of apprentices who complete the scheme then go on to be employed by Network Rail. The National average retention rate is 55% for engineering. This high rate means that with apprenticeships becoming more popular it is possible to be developing a career from the start of the course.
On the 6th of March the team of promoters headed to Octavia House. This is a therapeutic school that specialises in providing education for student who have social emotional and mental health concerns. The group gave a presentation to the 15 and 16-year-old students as well as holding a workshop on the role of the apprentice. A presentation was also given to 180 students at Walworth Academy. The students at the Academy heard about the journeys and experiences of each of the apprentices, with the intention of trying to inspire the students to consider an apprenticeship on the railway.