Network Rail apprentice encourages others to join the scheme

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Adelaja Aladejobi, who lives and works in Peterborough, is encouraging people to follow in his footsteps and join Network Rail after the organisation’s Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme has been named as one of the top 20 apprentice employers in England.

The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers is a new national league table showcasing the nation’s outstanding apprenticeship employers. The table has been developed by the National Apprenticeship Service, in partnership with High Fliers Research, and looked at 10,000 apprentice employers.

Adelaja joined Network Rail’s Advanced Apprenticeship scheme in March 2019 after deciding on a career change. He was previously employed as a facilities manager but had always dreamed of becoming an engineer.

He found out about the scheme through a family member and, after looking into the scheme, decided to apply. Unlike many other schemes, Network Rail’s apprenticeship scheme has no upper age limit, which is even more important during the Covid-19 pandemic as people may have suffered job losses or simply be looking for a career change.

Commenting on his career change, Adelaja said: “Joining Network Rail has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It’s given me the chance to earn whilst I learn, which was really important to me as I have a family to support.

“I’m currently in my second year as a track maintenance operative, which means I carry out inspections and repairs to the railway track to make sure it stays safe and reliable for passengers and freight services. It’s a really rewarding job as I know I am making a difference to thousands of people every day, helping to get them where they need to be on time.”

“I can’t recommend this scheme enough and would encourage anyone looking for a new challenge or opportunity to have a look at what programmes are available.”

Rail Minister, Chris Heaton Harris, said: “The engineers of the future will be trained on the major infrastructure projects we are building today.

“As we build back better, there has never been a better time to start working in rail, with an apprenticeship helping to unlock new skills and huge career potential. That’s why it’s fantastic to see Network Rail recognised as one of the top apprentice employers in the UK.”

Network Rail has a huge range of apprenticeships, with 45 different schemes running at any one time, ranging from core apprenticeships in engineering and rail operations, to cyber intrusion analysis and data sciences.