Learn about life on the railway in apprentice scheme

The Oxford Times: Didcot Parkway station Didcot Parkway station

YOUNG people from Oxfordshire are being invited to experience life as a railway apprentice and meet the people and hi-tech kit involved in keeping Britain’s rail network running.

Network Rail is holding an open day in Didcot on Saturday to attract 35 new apprentices on its Western route, which will see billions of pounds invested in the next few years, including electrification of the lines to Oxford, Bristol and South Wales.

Budding apprentices will have the chance to see welders in action and hear about the scheme’s entry requirements. There will also be a chance to speak to apprentices, engineers and recruiters.

Michelle Palin, of Network Rail, said: “It’s a very exciting time to work on the Western route with projects like electrification, the redevelopment of Reading station and Crossrail. “We need more highly-skilled people to help us meet the challenges of a busier network and focus on improving performance and increasing capacity as passenger numbers continue to grow.

“Many of our apprentices go on to be team leaders and managers and take up the opportunity to further their education with a foundation degree in engineering, which we fund and support.”

Since 2005, Network Rail has trained 1,050 apprentices across Britain in the three-year scheme, with a further 600 currently part-way through their apprenticeships.

The next three-year apprenticeships will start next September, but anyone interested can attend the open day from 10am at the company’s Didcot depot, in Basil Hill Road.

To confirm a place, email advanced@networkrail.co.uk

For more details see www.facebook.com/ontrack

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