South Western Railway (SWR) – Engineering Apprentice

South Western Railway (SWR) – Engineering Apprentice

South Western Railway (SWR) is a prominent rail operator, managing a vast network of over 1,500 services on a daily basis across South West London, the southern counties of England and the Isle of Wight. With a workforce exceeding 5,000 individuals, SWR plays a pivotal role in facilitating easy and convenient mobility, fostering connections among people and communities in the region.

As part of the larger FirstGroup, the leading rail operator in the UK and the second largest bus operator in the UK outside London, SWR operates under a commitment to enhance the quality of life by facilitating seamless travel experiences. FirstGroup, with over 30,000 employees, endeavors to minimize its environmental impact through the implementation of cleaner and more sustainable transportation solutions.

SWR’s dedication to nurturing talent and fostering growth is exemplified by its Apprenticeship program, which has earned the prestigious Silver standard from Investors in People for its commitment to investing in apprentices.

Job Description

The apprenticeship opportunity at SWR offers a dynamic environment where apprentices work alongside seasoned engineers, acquiring invaluable skills and knowledge while actively contributing to critical maintenance and repair operations across the network.

Situated within one of SWR’s Train Care Depots, apprentices receive comprehensive training to kickstart a fulfilling career in the rail industry.

Apprenticeship Standard: Maintenance and Engineering Operations Technician (MOET) LEVEL 3

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Assisting with routine maintenance tasks, encompassing inspections, repairs and component replacements.
  • Diagnosing faults and executing troubleshooting procedures to swiftly identify and resolve issues.
  • Supporting the installation and testing of novel equipment and systems.
  • Adhering to stringent safety protocols and procedures to ensure a secure working environment.
  • Collaborating with team members to accomplish operational objectives effectively.
  • Delivering exemplary service to SWR’s customers.

Requirements:

  • Enthusiasm and motivation to excel in the railway industry.
  • A keen desire to pursue a career within the rail sector.
  • Flexibility to accommodate early or late shifts and travel across the network.
  • Exceptional communication skills, with the ability to inspire and motivate team members.
  • Proactive and adaptable approach to problem-solving, coupled with meticulous attention to detail.
  • Willingness to undergo continuous training and development to enhance skills and knowledge.
  • Commitment to upholding SWR’s values and delivering exceptional customer service.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • GCSE Math grade 5+
  • GCSE English grade 4+
  • GCSE Science grade 4+

Salisbury Depot serves as the operational hub for SWR’s esteemed Class 15X diesel fleet. The adept engineering team stationed at the depot oversees all aspects of train maintenance and repair, encompassing engines, transmissions, electrical control systems, HVAC and passenger facilities, among others.

Catering to the West of England, SWR’s Class 15X trains have established themselves as the epitome of reliability and performance excellence in the UK, courtesy of the dedicated workforce at Salisbury depot. A culture of knowledge sharing, pride and accountability permeates throughout the depot, fostering an environment conducive to professional growth and the delivery of exceptional customer experiences.

Work Schedule

Apprentices are expected to work an average of 37 hours per week, which may include a variety of shifts and weekend assignments.

Remuneration and Benefits

  • SWR offers a competitive salary package along with a host of valuable benefits, including:
  • Free duty and leisure travel on SWR services for employees.
  • Complimentary leisure travel for spouses/partners and dependents (subject to eligibility criteria).
  • 75% discount on fares for numerous other train operating companies.
  • Comprehensive training and support for professional development.
  • Access to an extensive range of exclusive retail offers.
  • Robust pension scheme.

Additional Information

Apprentices will attend SETA (Southampton Engineering Training Association), where they will undertake the Level 3 Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technician Standard.

Year 1:

  • Foundational and specialization skills training at SETA over a 40-week period.
  • Attainment of a Level 3 BTEC in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering.
  • Practical training aligned with the Level 3 MOET apprenticeship standard.

Years 2 & 3:

  • One-day-a-week attendance at SETA for Level 3 BTEC in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering.
  • Completion of a customized company training program comprising practical, work-based experience at Train Care Depots.

Year 4:

  • Hands-on workplace experience at the Depot following standard shift patterns.
  • Continued exposure to specific rolling stock, facilitating the development of technical expertise and practical skills.
  • Upon completion of the four-year apprenticeship, apprentices will undergo a final interview to demonstrate their proficiency and secure a permanent role within the Depot.

At SWR, inclusivity is paramount. FirstGroup is committed to fostering an inclusive environment across all its businesses, ensuring equitable opportunities for all candidates to access meaningful employment. The company values diversity in age, gender, LGBTQIA+ status, ethnicity, religion and disability, maintaining a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of prejudice directed at colleagues, customers, or prospective talent.

SWR celebrates and encourages diverse perspectives, innovative approaches to work and the growth and success of all its employees. Job descriptions and roles are regularly reviewed to ensure accessibility, with flexible working options provided wherever feasible. Candidates with disabilities or neurodivergent conditions, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, or autism, are encouraged to communicate their needs to facilitate a fair and equitable application process.

FAQ

What is South Western Railway (SWR)?

South Western Railway is a prominent rail operator in the UK, managing a vast network of over 1,500 services on a daily basis across South West London, the southern counties of England and the Isle of Wight.

How many employees does SWR have?

SWR boasts a workforce exceeding 5,000 individuals who contribute to the smooth functioning of its operations and services.

What is the connection between SWR and FirstGroup?

SWR is part of FirstGroup, the largest rail operator in the UK and the second largest bus operator in the UK outside London. FirstGroup operates services across the UK and Ireland, with a commitment to providing seamless travel experiences while minimizing environmental impact.

What is the Apprenticeship program offered by SWR?

SWR’s Apprenticeship program provides a structured learning environment where apprentices work alongside experienced engineers, gaining practical skills and knowledge in maintenance and repair tasks across the rail network.

What apprenticeship standard does SWR offer?

SWR offers the Maintenance and Engineering Operations Technician (MOET) LEVEL 3 apprenticeship standard, providing apprentices with comprehensive training and hands-on experience in various aspects of railway engineering.

Where are apprentices based during their training?

Apprentices are typically based at one of SWR’s Train Care Depots, where they receive foundational training and practical experience under the guidance of experienced engineers.

What qualifications are required to apply for an apprenticeship at SWR?

Applicants are required to have or be predicted to attain GCSE qualifications, including Math (grade 5+), English (grade 4+) and Science (grade 4+).

What benefits does SWR offer to its employees?

SWR offers a competitive salary package along with various benefits, including free duty and leisure travel on SWR services for employees, complimentary leisure travel for spouses/partners and dependents, discounts on fares for other train operating companies, comprehensive training and support and an excellent pension scheme.

What is the training structure for SWR apprentices?

Apprentices undergo a structured training program, including foundational and specialization skills training, attainment of relevant qualifications such as BTECs, practical work-based experience at Train Care Depots and hands-on workplace experience following standard shift patterns.

What is SWR’s approach to diversity and inclusion?

SWR and FirstGroup are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where all employees have equal opportunities for meaningful employment, regardless of age, gender, LGBTQIA+ status, ethnicity, religion, or disability. The companies maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards prejudice and actively promote diversity of thought and progressive ways of working. Flexible working options are provided to accommodate diverse needs and additional support is available for candidates with disabilities or neurodivergent conditions.

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