More than 150 prospective apprentices and parents heard from top engineering companies about apprenticeship opportunities in the rail industry at an Apprenticeships Day.
The event, to mark this year’s National Apprenticeship Week from 5-9 March, was held at the College of Haringey, Enfield North East London (CONEL).
Representatives from companies including Siemens, Bombardier, Hitachi, Virgin and South Western Trains, along with the National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR), gave inspiring presentations at the event at the College’s Enfield Centre to promote apprenticeships training and careers in the industry.
The event provided information about the range of jobs available, job security and excellent rates of pay, plus the chance for visitors to meet employers and their register details with them.
“Four thousand apprentices are going to be needed every year by the rail industry into the foreseeable future. The rail industry values apprentices, who are resilient, work well in teams and are willing to learn,” said Nigel Eagers, Project Consultant at the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR).
The event also included stands featuring a bogie, the part of a train with wheels that the carriage is fixed to, and a pantograph, the device that connects the train to overhead lines, as well as the chance to see a model railway and learn to drive a train using virtual reality headsets.
National Apprenticeship Week is a Government initiative that celebrates the success of apprenticeships while encouraging people to choose an apprenticeship as a pathway to a great career.
Apprenticeships are actual jobs that enable you to earn while you learn, usually spending four days a week in the workplace and one day studying. Due to the work-based nature of apprenticeships, many, apprentices often have a huge head start in getting a job over university graduates in who often have limited work experience
Siemens apprentice Sophie Davis-Williams, 19, who demonstrated her skills at the event, said: “I’ve always wanted to be an engineer and chose to do an apprenticeship because my employer pays for all my fees so I won’t have any debt at the end, and I’m learning practical skills which will help further my career.”
Elliott Leftly, 18, who is studying ICT and Computing at CONEL, said: “I’ve heard a lot about apprenticeships compared to going to university and I wanted to find out more at this event.”
Creative and Media student Faris Akhtar, 19, added: “The event has been helpful in terms of me thinking about whether or not I want to find a higher apprenticeship or to go to university.”
Their parents were both pleased to see apprenticeships being seen as a real alternative to university and as a way into work.
- Last Updated: 03 May 2018