Apprenticeship Programme

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Developing people is key to our operational success and we believe that the investment made in training and development is vital to maintaining competitive advantage.

The Graduate & Apprentice programmes we run are equally as important to closing the skills gap facing the industry. At Colas Rail we believe the investment made in training and development is vital to maintaining competitive advantage and we are committed to utilising training and development to ensure that every possible opportunity is available to our staff.

Our Future Skills Strategy

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Build

Knowledge and experience during your journey with continuous development after completion of the scheme
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Develop

Rail focused engineering skills for life and earn while you learn
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Collaborate

With other apprentices in Colas Rail and key industry bodies like Young Apprenticeship Ambassador and Young Railway Professional within your region

Why join Colas Rail

There are many exciting opportunities that lie ahead in creating tomorrow’s railway.

High-speed rail, light urban systems, track maintenance and commercial rail freight are all areas that have become increasingly important to the UK transport industry.

During your Apprentice Scheme you will attend block release training and learn the more advanced skills of your technical specialism.

You will support Lead Engineers, Supervisors and Team Leaders to deliver high value contracts for our customers and they will support you throughout your journey.

Person Specification

  • Maths and English GCSE level C and above or equivalent
  • Committed to a two/three year programme
  • Happy to work shifts (weekends, nights and bank holidays)
  • Have a positive approach to work and learning
  • Ambitious and driven
  • Enthusiastic
  • Team player
  • Punctual
  • Good communication skills (written/verbal)
  • A desire to continually develop and grow

What qualifications will I achieve?

Rail Engineering Technician – Track Level 3

Understand track geometry so you can inspect, analyse, diagnose and correct track systems and equipment.

Find out more

Rail Engineering Technician Overhead Lines – Level 3

On completion of this qualification you will have a complex and detailed knowledge of overhead line structures.

Find out more

Rail Engineering Technician Traction & Rolling Stock – Level 3

Armed with knowledge of traction and rolling stock systems, be able to find, diagnose and correct faults to keep our tracks moving.

Find out more

Rail Engineering Technician Signalling – Level 3

Do you want to understand the safety, integrity and fundamental signalling principles applied to train control systems?

Find out more

Rail Engineering Technician Signalling Advanced Technician – Level 4

A more in-depth and extensive understanding of signalling principles, operating requirements, implications and constraints.

Find out more

Rail Engineering Technician Overhead Lines Advanced Technician – Level 4

Add in an understanding of the physical and systems interfaces between overhead Lines assets and the railway.

Find out more

Rail Engineering Technician – Track Level 3

Build and develop an understanding of:

  • Track geometry including track gauge, alignment, elevation, curvature and track surface and the impact of train wheels;
  • The requirements, methods and techniques for the installation and maintenance of the track (rail, fastenings, sleepers) and the load bearing capacity of the track foundation;
  • The impact of the railway environment e.g. tunnels, embankments, vegetation and drainage.

On completion of this qualification you will be able to undertake detailed inspection and analyse the performance and condition of track and conductor rail systems, diagnose and correct faults and be able to use track specific plant and equipment.

Apply now – BrentwoodApply now – BristolApply now – BirminghamApply now – Tonbridge

Rail Engineering Technician Overhead Lines – Level 3

Build knowledge of excavation, ground works, different ‘piling’ methods and foundations.

Gain an understanding of construction design and bonding layouts, electrical clearance, insulation installation wiring and risks around radial load and correct methodology.

On completion of this qualification you will have the ability to erect different types of overhead line structures, have an understanding of pre fabrication and the installation of main structure and small part steelwork, the running of wiring systems including sectioning, insulation and registration as well as in- span components and the installation, enhancement and renewal of earthing and bonding. You will also be able to use lifting and access equipment while working at heights.

Apply now – Euston

Rail Engineering Technician Traction & Rolling Stock – Level 3

Gain an understanding of vehicle design, construction, maintenance and operations. Develop a working knowledge of the traction and rolling stock systems, sub systems and components which include mechanical, electrical, process controller and fluid power equipment.

On completion of this qualification your systems knowledge will include traction, wheel sets, brakes, train protection, air conditioning and ventilation, customer information, doors, vehicle trim and fittings. You will be able to find, diagnose and correct faults, identify potential faults & defects within electrical circuits and maintain and renew a range of types of traction and rolling stock.

Apply now – Rugby

Rail Engineering Technician Signalling – Level 3

Gain an understanding of safety integrity and fundamental signalling principles as applied to train control systems, the varying types of signal control and the signalling symbols and alphabet used in signalling design drawings.

On completion of this qualification you will be able to apply installation and maintenance techniques and processes including wiring, cable access requirements and terminations, adjustment of signalling assets, locate and replace components and methods for signal component handling working on isolated and live signalling equipment. You will be able to undertake integrity checks and carry out testing of components and equipment, writing test plans in accordance with specifications.

Apply now – BrentwoodApply now – Tonbridge

Rail Engineering Technician Signalling Advanced Technician – Level 4

Gain an in depth understanding of safety integrity, signalling principles and the varying types of signal control as applied to train control systems. Understand and be able to undertake rudimentary signalling system design. Ensure the application of installation and maintenance techniques and processes. On completion of this qualification you will be able to undertake in depth and complex integrity checks and testing of components and equipment. You will also understand the physical and systems interfaces between signalling assets and systems and other aspects of the railway and the operating requirements, implications and constraints of these.

Apply now – Brentwood

Rail Engineering Technician Overhead Lines Advanced Technician – Level 4

Gain in depth knowledge and experience of excavation, ground works, and develop an understanding of different ‘piling’ methods and foundations. Understand construction design and bonding layouts, electrical clearance, insulation installation wiring and risks around radial load and correct methodology.

On completion of this qualification you will have the ability to erect and direct the erection of different types of overhead line structures, pre fabrication and installation of main structure and small part steelwork, running of wiring systems including sectioning, insulation, registration and in-span components and the installation, enhancement and renewal of earthing and bonding.

You will also be able to use and direct the use of lifting and access equipment while working at heights. Understand the physical and systems interfaces between Overhead Lines assets and systems and other aspects of the railway and the operating requirements, implications and constraints of these.

Apply now – Brentwood

Recruitment process

When applying for a position within our Apprenticeship programme, your application will go through several stages. We put a guide together to ease the preparation process for you.
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Stage 1

Online Application

Submit your cover letter and CV and we will ask you a few questions about why you would like to work with us.

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Stage 2

Ability tests

Numerical Reasoning

These numerical reasoning tests contain questions that test your knowledge of Ratios, Percentage Increase/Decrease, Cost and Sales Analysis, Rates and Trends, and Currency Conversions. Please note that you can use a calculator for this and the tests are not negatively marked but accuracy is essential, so we encourage you not to rush or guess.

Verbal Reasoning

Verbal reasoning tests assess your understanding and comprehension skills. You will be presented with a short passage of text and will need to answer a True, False or Cannot Say response to each statement.

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Stage 3

Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ)

OPQ is a robust psychometric test which is used for recruitment and selection, personal development and career transition.

We will be assessing you against our 5 key behaviours. Have a look at our Leadership Framework which will help you understand this.

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Stage 4

Video Interview

If you are successful, you will receive an invitation to a video interview. You will have 2 minutes per question to answer 6 questions based on the Colas Rail 5E’s.

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Stage 5

Assessment Centre

If you are successful you will receive an invite to Colas Rail UK assessment centre. This is where you can demonstrate your ability to show genuine enthusiasm and passion for both Colas Rail UK and the rail sector, as well as demonstrating excellent interpersonal skills and drive to succeed. You also get to meet key leaders from across our business and get a real feel for what it’s like to work for Colas Rail UK!

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Final Stage

Offers made!

Colas Rail UK recruitment process can take up to two months to complete, this may seem like a long process but it’s used to ensure everyone is treated fairly.

Success stories

Colas Rail UK launched its first Apprenticeship Programme in September 2017, with an intake of 16 apprentices studying a level 3 Rail Engineering Technician qualification. Below is an insight from a few of our apprentices of their journey so far.

What We Do

Having a thorough understanding of the rail industry and the inner workings of Colas Rail UK is a key criteria of our recruitment process. Find out more about who we are and what we do.