Rail Engineering Operative Apprenticeship

Rail Engineering Operatives provide support to Rail Technicians and Engineers. The engineering disciplines cover the following areas of “The Railway” (infrastructure and trains); track (including minor works), electrification, overhead line, signalling, telecommunications and traction & rolling stock. Apprentices will undertake the core learning and also specialise in one particular discipline. Those working within the occupation of Rail Engineering are responsible for the safe construction, installation, maintenance and renewal of The Railway to provide a safe and reliable Railway for customers. The Rail Industry has a high level of safety critical work activities requiring a disciplined and responsible approach.

Job titles include: Track Operative, Overhead Line Operative, Electrification Operative, Traction & Rolling Stock Operative, Signalling Operative, Telecoms Operative.

A Rail Engineering Operative may work on site or in a depot or in a technical office. Their work could involve:

  • Assisting in the construction, installation, renewal, enhancement and modification of The Railway.
  • Assisting with fault finding and diagnosis to prevent or address equipment failures.
  • Maintenance and replacement of components.
  • Assisting in functional and operational testing and inspection of The Railway using specialist equipment.
Information for Applicants

What knowledge and skills are covered?

Within a Rail context all Rail Engineering Operatives need to know about:

  • Safe and Professional working practices including legislation, regulation, industry procedures and safety requirements.
  • The general engineering techniques required to support the maintenance, renewal and construction of The Railway.
  • How to work effectively and contribute to engineering solutions including awareness of the importance of 3rd party requirement and the need to understand and adhere to corporate policies on ethics, equality and diversity.
  • Awareness of commercial principles applicable to The Railway, and the implications of these.

After completing the training, learners will be able to:

  • Keep themselves and others safe by adhering to safe working practices.
  • Understand and comply with statutory regulations and organisational safety requirements, including safe access to work locations.
  • Prepare for a high standard of technical work: Gathering and interpreting information including drawings, plans and schedules needed for rail engineering activities and prepare the work location.
  • Deliver a high standard of technical work: Undertake engineering activities in relation to maintenance, construction / installation and or renewal of assets. Take responsibility for their own work on completing relevant integrity and compliance checks. Reinstate the work area after engineering activity.
  • Identify and report problems: Identify, recognise and escalate appropriately common problems.
  • Use resources including the correct utilisation and storage of tools, materials and equipment, and the lifting and moving of materials, components and equipment.
  • Communicate effectively. Use oral, written, electronic and IT based methods and systems for the accurate communication and reporting & recording of technical and other information, using correct terms, standards, templates and certifications.

What are the entry requirements?

Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their Apprenticeships. Employers who recruit candidates without English or Maths at Grade C or above must ensure that the candidate achieves level 1 in English and Maths and take the test for level 2 prior to taking the end point assessment.

How often do I have to attend college?

College attendance will be required over the duration of the course and will be determined post-application

How will I be assessed?

The Rail Engineering Operative assessment plan is delivered within the 2 phases of the Apprenticeship, these being:

  • On programme phase
  • End Point Assessment and Employer Endorsement phase

Rail Engineering apprentices will be assessed for the following:

  • Technical knowledge against the standard (core and pathway specific requirements)
  • Occupational competence (knowledge, behaviours and occ

What can I do next?

For those Rail Engineering Operatives who have the ability and drive there is a wide range of further development and career progression opportunities within Rail Engineering. Career pathways may include employment as a skilled track operative and, with further training and development, progression to a team leader or supervisory role.

Information for Employers

How is my business going to benefit from an Apprentice?

How can I fit this apprentice into my business?

All Rail Engineering Technicians are expected to demonstrate the following behaviours. They will be expected to:

  • Act professionally demonstrating dependability, determination, honesty and integrity. Respect others, act ethically and contribute to sustainable development.
  • Be risk aware so as to help reduce risks by checking of information, concentration on the task, and awareness of changing circumstances on activity.
  • Display a self-disciplined, self-motivated, proactive approach to work, able to make independent decisions whilst knowing one’s limitations and when to ask for help or to escalate.
  • Work reliably and safely, occasionally without close supervision, to approved industry standards and safe working practices. • Work effectively and efficiently, individually and as part of a team, maintaining effective relationships with colleagues, clients, suppliers and the public.
  • Receptive to feedback, willing to learn new skills and adjust to change. Carrying out and record CPD necessary to maintain and enhance competence.
  • Prepared to make a personal commitment to their employer, the industry and its professional standards.

In addition, for the discipline they are following, Operatives will have the following specific knowledge and skills regarding different techniques and methods used to construct, install, maintain and renew the Railway:

Track: Understand the relevant tolerances for track installation, specific methods and techniques for track inspection, maintenance and replacement, what constitutes a track defect or variation, track work instructions, hot weather restrictions and extreme weather plans. Able to restore track geometry faults by manual repair of assets as part of a team. Under direction, restore plain line track geometry, rail switches and crossings, and where appropriate conductor rail systems, to operational condition and maintain the track and its environment including vegetation and drainage.

Electrification: Understand electrical and electronic principals. Under direction: assist in maintenance and installation of railway electrification equipment and components; assist in isolation and earthing of electrical systems at different voltages and frequencies, working on live battery & inverter systems and maintaining substation plant.

Overhead Lines: Understand mechanical principles and construction design. Follow instructions to assemble overhead line components in line with detailed specification, using lifting and access equipment while working at heights.

Signalling: Understand function and characteristics of railway signalling systems, including electrical, electronic and mechanical principles. Under direction: install & wire signalling or control systems; install position and label equipment & components & cables correctly; undertake installation integrity checks; assist in testing of components & equipment in accordance with test specifications & plans; maintain and rectify signal control systems equipment.

Telecoms: Understand principles of electronic devices, circuits, data and communications equipment. Under direction undertake the activities of installation, planned preventative maintenance and maintenance testing activities on operational railway telecoms systems and establish compliance with drawings and specifications. Understand the types of operational constraints when carrying out telecoms installation and maintenance activities.

Traction & Rolling Stock (T&RS): Understand vehicle design, construction, maintenance and operation. Under direction, carry out preventative and scheduled maintenance activities and follow vehicle maintenance instructions on T&RS mechanical, electrical, fluid power and electronic communication equipment including ensuring vehicle trim, ancillary equipment and fittings are secured and in good order, check subsystems are operating correctly. Assist with the installation of T&RS equipment.

What will this cost my business?

Since April 2017 the way that government funds apprenticeships in England has changed. All businesses operating within the UK with a wage bill of over £3 million are required to contribute to the apprenticeship levy monthly via HMRC.

  • If the levy applies to your business you will be required to pay 0.5% of your entire wage bill into the levy. This will be offset against a levy allowance worth £15,000 for each tax year
  • You will only be able to use your levy payment for government backed apprenticeships through providers who are registered on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers
  • Levy payments will expire after 18 months.

From April 2017 all existing apprenticeship frameworks and new apprenticeship standards (often referred to as trailblazer standards) will be allocated to Government funding bands.

Funding bands determine the maximum amount of money that Government will contribute for the training delivery and end-point assessment of each apprenticeship. All approved apprenticeship standards have already been allocated to funding bandings with maximum funding caps.

If you take on an apprentice who is between 16 and 18 years old at the start of their apprenticeship, you will receive a payment to help meet the extra costs of employing them. This will be paid to you through the training provider in two £500 instalments at 3 months and 12 months  if the apprentice continues in learning beyond this point.

Non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 10% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship. Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account. Where there are no longer funds in this digital account the Government will co-invest 90% of the funding with the levy paying employer being the asked to contribute the remaining 10% on a monthly basis.

Levy paying employers can estimate their funding contributions through the use of the free Funding Apprenticeship Systems calculating tool.

The agreed funds will be taken from the employer’s digital account to pay the training provider, up to a maximum amount of funding allocated by Government to that particular apprenticeship.

For non-levy paying employers the Digital Apprenticeship Service will not be available until at least 2018. They will need to discuss and agree a price with their training provider.

Does the apprentice have to attend college?

College attendance will be required over the duration of the course and will be determined post-application

How is the apprentice assessed?

The Rail Engineering Operative assessment plan is delivered within the 2 phases of the Apprenticeship, these being:

  • On programme phase
  • End Point Assessment and Employer Endorsement phase

Rail Engineering apprentices will be assessed for the following:

  • Technical knowledge against the standard (core and pathway specific requirements)
  • Occupational competence (knowledge, behaviours and occ

What about support in the workplace?

Skilled and knowledgeable staff must be available to support the apprentice as they complete work-based tasks.

Why should I choose Colchester Institute to support my recruitment and retention?

Apprenticeships – What we can offer

Colchester Institute is the largest college provider of apprenticeships in Greater Essex. We are expert at connecting the right people, to the right training, to the right business and when it comes to Apprenticeships, our Apprenticeship Advisors can support your business every step of the way.

As part of our service we can support your business with:

  • Advertising the Apprenticeship vacancy
  • Manage the applications received in line with your individual requirements
  • Match prospective candidates already known to us
  • Conduct initial pre-screening for candidates
  • Carry out visits to your premises alongside regular reviews to support you, your staff and your apprentice
  • Advice on any grants or funding where available

Our team will provide:

  • A fee free recruitment service.
  • Personal 1:1 Apprenticeship Levy advice and guidance.
  • A dedicated Account Manager.
  • Industry experienced, professional, technical tutors.
  • Bespoke programmes available upon request.
  • An Essex priority skills focus.
  • Free employer events.

Apprenticeship Reform Events

Rail Engineering Operative Apprenticeship
LevelLevel 2
LocationColchester
DurationMinimum 12 months
CampusColchester Institute
Start DateStarting employment as an apprentice can occur throughout the year however the start-date for attending college for training, where required, will be communicated post-employment and sign-up
Apprenticeship Funding Band (Levy paying employers)£12,000
Employer Contribution Fee (Non-levy paying employers)£1,200
What will this cost my Business?

Non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 10% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship. Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account.

Apprenticeship Funding Bands

Apprenticeship Funding Bands
Employers with less than 50 employees who are recruiting an apprentice aged 16-18 years old will not be required to pay the contribution fee.
Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear at the interview.

Disclaimer

All Fees and prices shown on the website are for courses starting in the 2018-19 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.