NETWORK Rail is seeking dozens of new apprentices for its depots in the south west as it spends billions of pounds on upgrading the region’s rail network.

Recruitment leader Michelle Palin, 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. “ She explained: “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.”

An open day is being held at its Swindon base on Saturday offering potential trainees a chance to see live demonstrations, chat to engineers and learn about the application process.

More than 1050 apprentices have gone through the firms three-year training scheme since 2005 and 600 more are still on courses.

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

During their second and third years they learn on the job, returning to Sultan for added courses.

More information is available online at or emailing