Network Rail welcomed prospective apprentices and their families to its depot in Westbury on Saturday for a demonstration of the opportunities available in the railway industry.

The open day, which was held at the depot in Station Approach, was aimed at those looking to apply for apprenticeships to start in September 2014 and also those considering them for the future.

More than 30 budding apprentices came along to watch a series of live demonstrations of the work that they could be involved with, as well as speak to current and past apprentices, engineers and recruiters.

There was also a presentation on the three-year scheme to explain the entry requirements, plus hints and tips for the application process, which opened in January and is due to close in May.

Chris Fuoco, infrastructure maintenance delivery manager at Network Rail, said: “It was a big success for us. We haven’t done these open days before, but we were conscious that people didn’t know exactly what we did.

“The main aim was to encourage more people to apply for the scheme by giving them more information about what is involved and we had at least 30 young people come along, which was great.

“We had a lot of positive feedback and we expect around 50 per cent or more of those who came along will apply for the scheme, so we were really pleased with how it went.

“The day started with a presentation from me about the scheme and then we had live demonstrations and one-to-one chats, where they could find out more detail about the apprenticeship scheme.”

The first year of the scheme is spent at Europe’s largest engineering training facility at HMS Sultan in Hampshire, where apprentices specialise in track, signalling, telecoms or electrification and plant.

During their second and third years, they experience work on the rail network’s front line, gaining vital experience as they train to become maintenance technicians.

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