Rail needs tens of thousands more professionals over the coming years to keep the country running. This demand presents a great opportunity for anyone considering their first steps into a career – or looking for a career change.
An apprenticeship is a great way to start a career in rail. Whether you did well in school or didn’t get the best grades, whether you have been considering university or not, whatever age you are – almost everyone can do an apprenticeship.
Here are five reasons why you should consider an apprenticeship.
Gain real-world skills
One of the best benefits of doing an apprenticeship is gaining real-world skills and experience that will put you ahead in your chosen field. Apprentices finish their training with years of experience that graduates don’t have – making them attractive to employers. (And almost all apprentices are offered a permanent role by their employer at the end of their apprenticeship anyway.) As well as career-specific skills, you will also gain other valuable experience – like knowledge of working in an office or on a job site and cooperation with a team.
You will have to do about a day a week of study, with a training provider or university, to learn important skills you’ll need to be competent in your field. But for most of your time as an apprentice you’ll be out of the classroom, in the workplace, doing on-the-job training and gaining hands-on experience.
Earn while you learn
Your employer will pay your wages while you do your apprenticeship – so you can earn money while you build skills to develop your career. Doing an apprenticeship also means no student loan debt as there are no tuition fees. University students can expect to spend up to £9,250 pounds each year on course fees alone. By doing an apprenticeship, you will be able to enter the workforce with a great set of skills and no debt.
Choose from a wide range of apprenticeships
There is a misconception that apprenticeships are only for physical work like construction, but apprenticeships are available for just about any field. Whether you want to work in IT, engineering, finance, human resources, marketing, project management or sustainability – there is an apprenticeship. Within rail, there is demand for both in-field and office roles – presenting opportunities for a rail apprenticeship and career no matter what your interests.
Different apprenticeships offer different levels of training – and some fields offer multiple levels. There are 700+ apprenticeship standards that range from level 2 (GCSE level) to level 7 (Master’s degree level). Although apprenticeships provide a great alternative to degree-level study, you can still work towards a degree as part of your apprenticeship and graduate at the end.
Receive one-on-one guidance and support as you learn
What is great about an apprenticeship, as opposed to most university courses, is that you will receive comprehensive training in a one-on-one or small-group environment. You will have direct access to your trainers and benefit from the enhanced level of support this learning environment provides.
You will also be learning from experts at your organisation. They will have a wealth of knowledge about the skills you are learning, the roles these skills can be applied to and how the sector works. Working alongside these experts will give you first-hand insight and a better understanding of your field.
Contribute to your local area or move somewhere new – your choice!
Apprentices of all kinds are needed throughout UK – including in the rail industry. With major rail projects being rolled out around the country and the ongoing maintenance of the railways, there is demand no matter where you are based.
This means that you don’t have to move away to take up an apprenticeship, like you might have to if you were attending university. When you take on a local apprenticeship, you can build skills for your future and contribute to your area. The demand for apprentices throughout the UK also presents the opportunity to move somewhere new to take up an apprenticeship – the choice is yours!
Whatever your interests, wherever you live (or want to move), an apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to learn real-world skills from the experts and earn at the same time. Put yourself ahead in your chosen career by taking on an apprenticeship.