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Rail industry searches for new talent

West Midlands Trains is hoping to attract new talent to the rail industry as it launches four engineering apprenticeships.

The rail company, which operates West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway, is looking for inquisitive and collaborative individuals who have an innovative approach to problem solving to join their award-winning team.

The engineering apprentice role will be responsible for servicing West Midlands Trains' mechanical and electrical systems. The role is highly-varied and duties can include repairing, overhauling and modifying trains, inspecting bodywork and writing reports and maintenance records.

The work ranges from carrying out routine maintenance/servicing to repairing and fault finding on complex electrical and mechanical components used in the modern rail industry today.

The successful applicants will undertake a mix of classroom and vocational training which will lead to a competence and knowledge-based rail qualification. This apprenticeship cohort will also be fortunate enough to undertake part of their training at the state-of-the-art National Training Academy for Rail which offers apprentices the use of cutting-edge technology.

Someone who is currently enjoying their engineering apprenticeship is 19-year-old Rio Pearce, who has been on the scheme since August 2019. Rio said: “There’s not one thing I could choose that I love most about my apprenticeship, I have loved the whole experience so far. I can particularly say that I love the feeling I get each day I learn something new. I’m surrounded by great people who want to help me learn and succeed in my apprenticeship, which I’m very grateful for.

“My biggest challenge I’ve faced so far in my apprenticeship was probably having to learn online during Covid. It was a struggle to learn some of the college content through a screen, however we got through it and I still learnt a lot”.

Zena Dent, engineering director at West Midlands Trains, said: “We’re proud to provide these opportunities to the future stars of engineering. Our apprenticeship schemes are comprehensive yet supportive to employees starting out in the rail industry. As a forward-thinking train operator, we are looking forward to welcoming four new individuals who want to gain an exciting and rewarding career in engineering.” 

“It’s an exciting time to join as West Midlands Trains is investing over £700 million in new and refurbished trains making journeys quicker and more comfortable. Apprentices can expect their engineering knowledge and expertise to evolve throughout their career. West Midlands Trains is Disability Confident Committed and is working towards achieving stage two of the Investors in Diversity accreditation, setting out a level of excellent practice for embedding diversity and inclusion across our business, making it an organisation that potential candidates would be proud to work for.”

To find out more or to apply, visit here. The closing date for applications is April 25, 2021, but candidates are advised to act quickly as the portal may close earlier if significant volumes of interest are received.  

Pictured: Rio Pearce

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