Network Rail apprenticeship scheme wins award

Network Rail has won this year's People Management Award for its Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme.The company was the overall winner and category winner, 'Business impact through learning and development'.

Launched in 2005, the scheme combines personal development and technical training and is based at Royal Navy facilities at HMS Sultan in Gosport, Hampshire. An investment of £30 million makes the programme one of the biggest in the UK.

Each year, up to 240 apprentices enter the scheme, spending the first year of their course at HMS Sultan and undertaking technical training delivered by Flagship Training. Accommodation is provided at nearby HMS Collingwood.

Network Rail staff teach years two and three of the course, delivering a range of rail-specific training before successful completion of the course provides apprentices jobs within the company's maintenance function.

Iain Coucher, chief executive of Network Rail said: "We are changing the very nature of Network Rail, what it is and how it operates. Training and development are key parts of change, which is why Network Rail developed its apprenticeship scheme, the most talented of whom would go onto a Foundation Degree at Sheffield Hallam University, and leadership schemes for potential high flyers.

"This is a huge investment in our future. This apprenticeship scheme will deliver over 1,000 skilled technicians who will become the backbone of Network Rail for the next 25 years."

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