Category: Industry News, Recruitment, commitment, programme, achieve, opportunities
In April 2017, the new government Apprenticeship Levy initiative was introduced to ensure that businesses increase the number of apprentices that they take on. As a result of this, Network Rail is working with others in the rail industry to embrace the value that apprenticeships can bring to both the business and the individual.
During 2017, Network Rail will contribute around £10 million to the Apprenticeship Levy as part of their commitment to ensure that young people get the opportunities that they deserve. The levy is designed to help meet the genuine needs of the industry that can be achieved through the recruitment of more apprentices in the rail sector.
Network Rail employs more than 36,000 people as a public-sector body and has a long history of hiring apprentices, since 2005 they have trained more than 2,000 apprentices as they know that apprenticeships work for both their business and for the young people and adults that take part in the programmes. Due to this, Network Rail continue to push themselves to do more with apprenticeships.
Network Rail aims to have apprentices make up over 2% of their workforce by 2020, an ambitious aim that they are working hard to achieve through programmes such as the Apprenticeship Levy.
In addition to the levy, Network Rail has an award-winning Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme that gives individuals the chance to set themselves up for a career with Network Rail on a comprehensive three-year programme. This scheme took on more than 200 apprentices in the last financial year and due to its popularity Network Rail has had to increase the number of places that are available on the scheme.
Network Rail invests in apprentices by giving them the opportunity to gain the skills and confidence that they will need when building a long career with Network Rail. That is why over 75% of the people who started on the Network Rail apprenticeship scheme when it first launched are still working for Network Rail today.
Network Rail has been leading the way with the redesign of apprenticeship standards for the rail sector for many years. As the railway grows and becomes more technologically advanced, the needs of the industry change and, therefore, more skilled apprentices are needed to meet these ever-changing needs. These new and innovative methods of work are being taught in apprenticeship programmes in order to ensure that the industry is constantly evolving with the very best talent.
The levy comes at a time when the railways are undergoing the largest investment since the Victorian era, and over the coming years Network Rail will be continuing to deliver the Railway Upgrade Plan, including new track, new signalling, longer platforms and better stations. This redevelopment means that there is a demand for skilled workers from programmes such as the apprenticeship scheme.
The aim of the Apprenticeship Levy is to encourage more businesses to recruit apprentices in order to meet the needs of the industry and the skills that are required to work within it. Now that the levy has been introduced more businesses will be competing for apprentices, however, Network Rails long commitment to apprentices means that they are confident that their apprenticeship programme is one of the best in the country.
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