We are not currently recruiting apprentices, however, the next intake will commence in January 2015.
Nexus is a 24/7 operation and applicants for our apprenticeships will want to contribute to the running of this essential regional service, day and night including weekend shifts, at all times and in all weathers, but that is what our apprentices enjoy.
Three years in duration, the programme will equip you with the skills and experience necessary to become a Maintenance Engineering Technician. All Nexus apprentices start training in Mechatronics. Mechatronics is the combination of mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, a multidisciplinary field of engineering, that is to say it rejects splitting engineering into separate disciplines.
In the later stages of your apprenticeship your training will be more specialised towards Electrical/Mechanical & Plant; Overhead Lines OHL (Electrical/Mechanical); Signalling & Communications (Electrical/Electronic).
Whichever route, you’ll spend your first year at Gateshead College specialist engineering training centre. The second and third years of the programme are spent at Nexus Rail working with experienced maintenance teams with short block periods back at Gateshead College. From the very beginning, you’ll learn about our very high safety standards, a critical part of your everyday life on the railway and obtain the qualifications and skills to develop a long-term career with Nexus.
Whatever discipline, the work is critical and is always conducted with the highest levels of safety in mind, and of course you need to be prepared to work shifts too.
Minimum education requirement to apply
To apply, applicants will have already attained or are expected to achieve as a minimum four GCSEs at grade A-C (or equivalent) including English, Maths and Science or Engineering.
Before you apply
It is important you understand what’s involved in a career with Nexus. Such is the importance of the job; we have a strict policy on the misuse of drugs and alcohol.
Remember, this is an outdoor job that often requires a good level of physical fitness, so you should be prepared for that as well. We will give you a full medical including sight and hearing checks to make sure you meet our rigorous safety standards. If you don’t pass the medical we cannot employ you. Moreover, if you fail to disclose anything at this stage we will have to withdraw the offer.
Over the course of the three years, you’ll be learning a great deal both at the College training centre as well as on the job. You’ll also be taking home a decent salary, the First Year Salary is £8,400 per year, plus a Completion of Training Bonus of £1,150, salaries will increase each year as you gain more experience.
We will provide the clothing and personal protective equipment that you need – including safety boots, cargo trousers and a fleece. There are plenty of holidays: 27 days plus bank holidays in total.
It’s also important to bear in mind our wider company benefits, such as our employee travelcard scheme entitling you to free travel on Metro, ferry, buses in the North East and some rail travel. Nexus also has Nexus Extras, an online discounted purchasing scheme with over 3000 offers with savings, discounts and cashback - so there's lots to benefit from and it's free for Nexus employees. Although this might not seem important to you now, there is also an excellent pension scheme; and it could mean so much more to you in the future. After all, we want you to go on to make a successful career here at Nexus, long after you have completed your apprenticeship training.
Advanced Apprentice training programme
The first year
The first year of our Advanced Apprenticeship is spent at Gateshead College specialist engineering training centre. The programme is completely tailored to rail engineering requirements; the workshops are modern and extensively equipped.
You will be provided with a technical foundation that will give you an excellent platform for your future. You’ll learn fundamental engineering principles and skills. It’s a mix of academic work as well as hands-on practical experience – after all, you’ll be studying for an NVQ Level 2 and a BTEC Level 3.
Second and third years
The second and third years of the scheme, you’ll be working as part of an engineering maintenance team here at Nexus. At the same time, you’ll be working towards NVQ Level 3 in Engineering, and this will involve a combination of rail-specific technical courses, work experience and formal assessments.
This is the time when the first year of your technical training will come into its own. You’ll be out and about working with experienced colleagues, possibly in teams of four or five. The work is mainly outdoors, and that’s one of the things that appeals to our apprentices.
You’ll be ‘one of the team’. So you’ll need to make sure you work well in a group and take on responsibility when you need to, while learning from the people around you. There’ll be a wide variety of work involved in what you’re doing; and because you’ll also be studying for an NVQ, you’ll need to manage your time well. Several times a year, you’ll also return to Gateshead College to attend specific technical training courses.
There’s a lot to take in and a lot of responsibility to take on. But by the end of the scheme, you’ll have the foundation to make a real mark within Nexus Rail.
Paul Johnstone, First Year Apprentice
"I'm a first year apprentice with Nexus Rail, learning about maintaining Tyne and Wear Metro. In our programme for the first year we have been sent to Gateshead College full-time to undertake BTEC Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications in Engineering.
"During our time at college we have enjoyed a course which has both cemented previous knowledge and tested our minds on new knowledge too. The college offers good facilities, opportunities and a friendly atmosphere. The tutors are fantastic! They are very friendly and you will soon get to know them. They are also experts in different fields of engineering giving the learners a vast knowledge of each subject they study during their time at Gateshead College.
"The pay is very reasonable for an apprenticeship programme and Nexus offers help and advice to anyone who feels uneasy about anything, from college work to time off for things such as driving tests or family occasions. Nexus is also undergoing a massive project known as the Asset Renewal Plan (ARP) which involves refurbishing all of the assets Nexus owns including stations, ticketing and gating and even the track itself. This means that young apprentices will get to grips easily with all the new technology Nexus is implementing throughout the system. Nexus also offers plenty of opportunities to any person, from all backgrounds, and always pushes their employees to do their best. This offers apprentices the chance to climb the career ladder.
"Nexus is a great company to work for and I am privileged to wear the badge on my uniform day in, day out. I would recommend this program to anyone and wish them luck in their application!".
Jonathan Bolam, Apprentice
"In my apprenticeship with Nexus so far, I have studied an Engineering Course (Levels 2 and 3) at Gateshead College. The campus at Team Valley has plenty of facilities and workshops containing both electrical and mechanical equipment and machinery. The tutors are extremely helpful and informative and I’ve learned a large amount of engineering knowledge in the short time I've been at the college. During January, as part of our project, we all spent two weeks' work experience at Nexus where we were split into groups of two and spread across different departments. I was placed with Buildings and Civils and got hands on experience with maintenance teams around the Nexus system.
"Overall, I have enjoyed my time at Nexus so far and I’ve gained skills and knowledge in engineering, responsibility and also a new group of friends."