Network Rail is inviting young people and their families from across the west of England to Westbury on Saturday to find out more about life as a railway apprentice.

The company wants to recruit new apprentices to join its depots across the south west of England to help provide a bigger, better, more efficient and more reliable railway through the billions of pounds due to be invested in the coming years. 

The apprenticeship open day is aimed at those looking for apprenticeships to start in September 2014, and also those who may be considering them for the future.

Budding apprentices will have the chance to view a series of live demonstrations of the sorts of work that apprentices may become involved with and see some of the hi-tech equipment which is used.

There will also be a presentation on the scheme itself which will explain the entry requirements, plus hints and tips for the application process.

There will also be an opportunity to speak to current and past apprentices, engineers and recruiters about the scheme and the opportunities available.

Patrick Hallgate, route managing director of Network Rail Western, said: “It's a very exciting time to work in the West of England with the major programme of £5bn to transform the Great Western main line over the five years.

"We need more highly skilled people to help us meet the challenges of a busier network and focus on improving the reliability of the railway and increasing capacity as passenger numbers continue to grow.

“The apprenticeship is just the start of our learning programme. Many of our apprentices go on to be team leaders and managers and take up the opportunity to further their education through Network Rail. I look forward to meeting lots of young men and women and their families to showcase the exciting opportunities available at Network Rail."

Since 2005, Network Rail has trained 1,050 apprentices across Britain through the three-year scheme with a further 600 still in training.

The first year of the award-winning three-year scheme is spent at Europe’s largest engineering training facility at HMS Sultan in Hampshire.

There apprentices specialise in either 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.

Throughout this time they regularly return to HMS Sultan for further courses and training to add to the experience gained on the rail network.

Anyone who wants to attend the event at Westbury Depot, Station Approach, Westbury, BA13 4HP, between 10am-1pm  should confirm their place by emailing

More information on the scheme can be found at