Every day, more than 4.6 million journeys are made in the UK. People depend on Britain’s railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway that connects people, businesses and communities.
We connect people, businesses and communities all across our great nation. We’re a team of over 40,000 people with over 4,000 different types of jobs, all working together to deliver for our passengers.
We’re there to deliver with care and pride for our passengers and freight companies, and to each play our role in one of the most important organisations in Britain. Whether your profession is in engineering, operations, maintenance or a professional discipline you’ll play an integral part in helping to shape the future of Britain.
Civil & Mechanical Engineering
Electrification and Plant
Operations & Signalling, Stations
Keeping Britain moving and building a better railway for the future is full of challenges – but also tremendous opportunities. Find out more below about our business areas and where you could see yourself:
Level 3 Engineering Apprenticeship
As a track apprentice, you will be responsible for maintaining, inspecting and repairing the track network, (also known as the Permanent Way or P-Way) to keep the railway safe and efficient. Working in a team you will ensure that the track system is operating to its optimum; this includes rails, sleepers and ballast that support the trains, together with their associated drainage and ancillary structures.
Keeping 10,000 miles of overhead power lines mechanically sound and in the correct position is quite a challenge, especially as inspection, maintenance and repair can only take place when the trains aren't running and the power’s switched off.
No two days are the same – in the event that the wires are brought down, the trains stop. Using your knowledge and skill, you will help to get them fixed and back up in the air, safely and as quickly as possible. Working with high voltage systems you will be making sure that the railway has the power to run the trains.
Our signalling systems keep millions of people safe. Signalling covers a wide range of equipment and technology, from mechanical and electrical to computer-based systems, and safety and performance enhancement schemes. These systems make sure trains are safely spaced and switch from one track to another. They alert signallers to train movements, warn drivers and can stop trains automatically. Every day, we check, test, clean and fix thousands of signals throughout the country. This is done by taking and recording electrical and mechanical values of equipment.
The Telecom Network has utilised radio and digital communications systems over fibre optic cables for many years, however the Telecoms Network is constantly evolving as new Ethernet technologies are introduced into railway systems nationwide to support an enormous growth of Telecoms Network capacity. Modern, highly reliable communications systems are pivotal to running a safe and efficient modern railway.
During your apprenticeship, you'll work remotely with a telecoms Network Management Centre and experienced and competent technicians on-site in equipment rooms and trackside as required to support a wide range of telecommunications systems. This includes copper and fibre optic cables, SDH transmission and Ethernet router.
Distribution and plant
From overhead lines and conductor rails to standby generators and lineside equipment including drainage pumps, switch heaters and domestic supplies; electricity and plant is a vital part of our infrastructure. In fact, running the rail network takes 1% of all electricity generated in Britain. 40% of our network is electrified and 60% of all rail traffic is electric.
As an apprentice, you'll work as part of a team to keep power flowing through the electrified rails safely and efficiently. Day to day you’ll work on the nuts, bolts and cables of the electrification system making sure that the railway has the power to run the trains, signals and stations.
We also offer:
IT and Business Services Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship Scheme
Level 2 Operations Apprenticeship
Level 3 Finance Apprenticeship scheme
We offer Graduate schemes, Summer Placements and Year in Industry Placements.
For more information on our Early Careers, please visit https://www.networkrail.co.uk/careers/early-careers/
A ‘returner’ is someone who has taken a career gap for whatever reason and wants to return to work. Evidence has shown that millennials and Gen Z are more likely to take career breaks in the future so it is essential that we ensure they can return to work when they wish to forgo losing talent and skills that Network Rail desires. A ‘returners’ programme is similar to a graduate scheme but is more in-depth with regards to how we support applicants via the process and mentor them once they are within the business. Our intakes are usually small to ensure that we can offer the ‘returnee’ a dedicated mentor and all the support they need to transition back into the working world.
We partner with many diversity organisations to advertise our returners programmes and offer CV workshops and webinars prior to people applying to understand how to best position their skillset in their CV. These mentoring sessions are held at every stage of the recruitment process to guide applicants in how to prepare for interviews and assessment centres after an absence from the workplace. One of those preparation sessions is an office tour and Q&A with the business area to ensure that the returnee is happy with the environment and understands what returning to work at Network Rail would mean for them.
Once someone has been successful, they join the business on an initial six month period with weekly mentoring sessions and career discussions to make their transition as seamless as possible. The first week in the job encompasses a business area induction and team meeting to ensure they feel integrated into the team.
Network Rail is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for its people and becoming a truly diverse organisation. Diversity & Inclusion is implicit in our four values (Always safe, Care about people, Teamwork is key & Empowered to act) and we endeavour to shape a workforce that reflects the diverse communities that we serve.
We welcome applications regardless of age, disability (we are a Disability Confident organisation), marital status (including civil partnerships), pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, transgender status, sex (or gender), employment status, trade union affiliation, or other irrelevant factor. We promise to provide a gender diverse interview panel as much as possible, and our adverts use gender-neutral language and tones as well as promote the option for flexible working.
We acknowledge that diverse groups have a greater range of perspectives, and are able to generate more high-quality solutions than less diverse groups. It can foster new ways of thinking, innovation and creativity and as such, we are on the way to ensuring all hiring managers receive training in the basic principles of Inclusive by Design. Additionally, we have trialled a reverse mentoring scheme to expose executive leaders to some of the barriers and challenges that people from other walks of life may face. This has been such a success that this is being rolled out further to senior leaders and managers.
Furthermore, we have a range of staff networks including:
Archway – our LGBT+ and allies network. Archway’s vision is to create an inspirational working environment and culture in which everyone is able, and encouraged, to express themselves freely and authentically, without fear.
Inspire – our equality network for men and women focused on creating a fair and supportive environment for women working in Network Rail and building an organisation which is seen externally by women as an employer of choice.
Multi-Faith Network (MFN) – A network for all faith groups and none, MFN works to create a workplace where all employees can work comfortably in a faith-respect environment. We celebrate faith and encourage open dialogue about what we believe.
Cultural Fusion – Network for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues and allies. The vision is to have an organisation that fully embraces diversity and equality in which everyone feels valued and has the opportunity to develop and excel without limitations.
Myriad – for carer’s and allies. A network that provides support for carer’s and allies with caring responsibilities.
CanDo – for disabled colleagues and allies, CanDo is an employee-run network for disabled colleagues and anyone who wishes to support or find out more about, people with disabilities.
These networks provide support, guidance and security to all members, and deliver valuable insights on the needs and requirements of various people groups to the wider areas of our business.
All of these, and more, contribute to our Everyone Matters strategy. We want our people to be proud to work for Network Rail, because wherever they go, whoever they are, and whoever our passengers are, everyone is treated with dignity and respect and appreciated for their individuality and the contributions that they bring.
For all applications:
We advertise all jobs via the ‘Careers search’ page. To apply for a job, simply complete an application and submit your CV online. Instructions on how to apply will be on the vacancy. To enable us to discover your potential, you may be asked to complete an assessment, which can consist of either a self-assessment, verbal, numerical or psychometric test.
Our interviews are designed for the role you have applied for, to help us assess your skills, behaviours and capabilities. We actively challenge unsafe practices and take responsibility for addressing risks, resolving issues and protecting safety and wellbeing. Safety is key to Network Rail and you will be asked a safety question at interview.
For Apprenticeship applications:
Don’t worry if you don’t have any railway experience, we will provide you with full training – we only ask you to show passion and willingness to learn!
Familiarise yourself with Network Rail, our purpose, the type of work we do as well as our different disciplines.
When completing our online tests, don’t think about the scenarios for too long, it’s usually most effective to read the scenario and go with your first reaction so you’re giving your natural response.
Before the interview, have a good look on our website, make sure you understand the requirements for the role you have applied for and think about your strengths (i.e. what energises you and what you are naturally good at) and how you have used these to succeed in the past.
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