Byline: NIKI CHESWORTH
[bar] THE best apprenticeships are full of hands-on experience. They also lead to recognised and valued qualifications and a well-paid career with good prospects.
The Tube Lines apprenticeship offers all three.
The Tube is the oldest and largest underground metro system in the world, having helped Londoners go about their daily business for nearly 150 years. As any user of the Underground will know, it is currently being upgraded to make it fit for the 21st century, with Tube Lines' focus on rebuilding the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines. That is why apprentices are needed -- to provide enough skilled engineers required to maintain the Underground now and in the future.
From the first day, apprentices will be doing hands-on work and gaining invaluable experience on placements around the business -- and of course they will have the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to improve travel in the capital. However, the apprentices will also be on track to a rewarding career in engineering.
Tube Lines, a subsidiary of Transport for London (TfL), runs an awardwinning Advanced Apprenticeship -- a structured, three-and-a-half year scheme that is nationally recognised and includes completing a Level 3 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Engineering.
It also offers a fast-track apprenticeship that will train recruits towards an NVQ Level 2 in engineering in 18 months to two years. With a starting salary of at least [pounds sterling]15,400, these apprenticeships, which opened for applications on February 1, are hands-on learning experiences.
Advanced Apprentices spend their first year training in basic skills such as mechanical assembly and devices, electrical wiring and testing and maintaining electrical equipment. They are also trained in the different assets -- track, fleet and signalling -- and learn about work safety.
Unlike some apprenticeships which are partly in college, Tube Lines integrates its trainees into the business and they are based in depots, workshops and offices around the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.
"The strength of our schemes is our commitment to the professional development of our apprentices," says Samantha Mansour, graduate and apprentice manager at Tube Lines.
The course recently picked up a commendation award from the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City & Guilds, and won the Chartered Management Institute training management and development award. …