Network Rail, the company that runs and maintains the infrastructure of the majority of the rail network in England, Scotland and Wales, says that jobs within the network are ideally suited to ex-Forces personnel.
Many of the skills gained in the armed forces are highly valued within the company. It could be the ability to work under pressure in a field-based environment in challenging conditions, or it could involve planning, analysis and strategic thinking. The big connection, according to Network Rail, is safety – an obvious priority both within the Forces and on a rail system that is relied upon by around three million travellers every day.
For those with engineering experience there are a number of areas that may be suitable, including:
Specific engineering roles require specific knowledge and this applies within the rail network just as it does in the Forces. For this reason, Network Rail runs a 9-month engineering conversion programme designed to help skilled engineers switch disciplines.
Depending on your background, there are also a number of support roles that may be suitable for Forces leavers. These include:
The company also runs an Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme that is open to anyone over the age of 17, with no upper age limit. This apprenticeship lasts for three years, with the first year being based at the Royal Navy’s HMS Sultan shore base at Gosport. The next two will be spent hands-on at a local depot. Apprentices can specialise in a number of areas, such as Electrification & Plant, Overhead Lines, Signalling, Telecoms, Track or Off Track.
The next apprenticeship intake does not start until January, but you can register your interest and upload your CV in advance.