NORTH East public transport executive Nexus is the latest company to support the apprenticeship programme after launching a scheme to attract youngsters to its rail maintenance division.
The new scheme, which is aimed at school leavers, offers three-year apprenticeships in the track, signaling, telecoms and plant departments of the Newcastle-based organisation.
Nexus, which owns the Tyne and Wear Metro, is expecting a high number of applicants for the four available places, which will include a one-year residential course at Europe’s largest specialist railway engineering training centre at HMS Sultan in Gosport, near Portsmouth, on the south coast.
The programme is tailored to rail engineering requirements and will teach engineering principles and skills through a blend of academic and practical exercises.
The second year of the apprenticeship will see the trainees work as part of an engineering maintenance team, based at the headquarters of Nexus Rail in South Gosforth, Newcastle, where they will look after sections of the Metro system including tracks, overhead lines and signals.
Ken Mackay, director of rail and infrastructure at Nexus, said: “Our new apprenticeship scheme is a fantastic opportunity for people to start a career in engineering.
“The good thing about the scheme is that it is vocational. The apprentices will learn skills for a specific job. They will have a fantastic three years and will get the chance to work on maintenance projects throughout the Metro system, looking after 120 kilometres of track.
“It will be hard work. Our maintenance crews have to work all hours and in all sorts of weather. However, this is a great way for someone who is interested in engineering to launch their career and get their foot on the first rung of the ladder.”