Two VolkerRail apprentices took to the stage at yesterday’s Future of Rail conference in Doncaster to share their experiences as an apprentice in the rail industry.
Reece Aspin, engineering apprentice, and Chloe Morgan, administration apprentice, provided a comprehensive overview to senior managers in the rail industry about their experiences at VolkerRail.
VolkerRail was approached to take part in the conference after members of Business Doncaster attended the opening of VolkerRail’s new overhead line training centre in March.
Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, said: “After seeing how devoted VolkerRail is to developing the next generation of railway professionals, we thought they would be the ideal candidates to speak about apprenticeships at the conference. Doncaster has a prestigious railway background and with the new National College for High Speed Rail going to open in the town in 2017 VolkerRail’s apprentices are ideally located to be some of its first students. Reece and Chloe gave inspirational speeches and are a great example of why apprenticeships are so important.”
Commenting on the experience Reece Aspin said: “When asked to be involved in such a significant event, I initially felt apprehensive but it also gave me an immense feeling of pride and achievement. Being given this opportunity has enabled my confidence to grow and has prepared me for future responsibilities. I hope that my contribution provided an insight into what a railway apprenticeship consists of and why they are important to the future of the railway.”
Jack Pendle, engineering director at VolkerRail and champion of the company’s apprenticeship programme, said: “VolkerRail has invested considerable resources in ensuring staff receive the best training available. Over the last five years we have recruited over 35 apprentices across a range of engineering and business disciplines and also trained in excess of 100 other staff, many of whom are now in full time posts and forming the backbone of the company. By working to develop the future engineers of tomorrow we ensure a legacy for years to come.”
The Future of Rail Conference
The Future of Rail Conference saw heads of industry meet to discuss how future infrastructure projects, such as Crossrail and High Speed 2, will influence the industries future, gain an insight into some future rail technologies and learn more about the development of the new national college for high speed rail.