Applying for a Level 3 Engineering apprenticeship

If a straightforward application process matters to you.
You matter to us.

If you’re interested in joining us, we want to support you every step of the way. And that starts with having an application process that’s simple, straightforward and answers any questions that you might have. So that’s just what we’ve created.

An Image of Engineering on Network Rail

The process matters

To check that we suit you, just as much as you suit us, we have a five-step process.

Our online application form will collect all the information we need to check you meet our minimum criteria. It’s really straight forward to complete and once you’re happy that you’ve filled everything in, just the click of a button will ensure that it reaches us.

Think of it more like a quiz. It’s multiple choice. It will present you with some scenarios you might deal with in a career here and ask you to choose what you think the most effective response is. There’s no time limit, but it must be completed in one sitting. You can’t save it and return to it.

If you need an adjustment to take account of a disability or condition, please get in touch with us before you start.

You will be given an exercise to complete, whereby you will give your thoughts and opinions on what you would do in a given scenario. You will record your answers on camera and send this back to us. You can prepare by:

  • Looking at our main website.
  • Understanding the requirements of the role you’ve applied for.
  • Considering your strengths and how you’ve used them to succeed.
  • Consider what you would do working in a team.

These can be virtual or at a variety of locations. You’ll be allocated a place closest to where you live that has places available. We’ll call you beforehand to outline what to expect. On the day, you’ll take part in a few exercises. You’ll need to show you understand our purpose, explain why this scheme is for you, prove you can work collaboratively and articulate your approach to problem solving.

We’ll let you know if you’ve been successful as soon as possible. If you haven’t this time, we’ll explain why to help you with any future applications. If you have, we’ll warmly welcome you to the Network Rail team.

Entry requirements matter

  • Four GCSE’s:
    • Maths, grade 9-5 (A*-C)
    • English language, grade 9-4 (A*-C)
    • A science or engineering subject, grade 9-4 (A*- C).
    • One other subject, grade 9-4 (A*-C)
  • For Scotland it’s four Scottish Standard 1-3/National 5.
  • NVQ or BTEC Level 2 or above in an Engineering subject is acceptable instead of a science GCSE
  • NVQ or BTEC level 2 is acceptable instead of the one other subject
  • We accept the equivalent qualifications from all the UK countries. You can refer to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education’s guide to comparing qualifications in the UK. (If you’re not sure just get in touch with us)
  • We accept iGCSE’s
  • We accept Functional skills Level 2 in Maths and English instead of the GCSE (nb -All 3 parts in English must be completed)
  • We’re happy for you to apply while you’re still sitting your exams, as long as you’ll have your results before the start of the scheme. If we offer you a place it will be conditional on you achieving the qualifications before the start date.
  • If you gained your qualifications outside the UK we’ll need a NARIC translation (
  • We accept most equivalent qualifications but there are some that we can’t accept as they don’t provide the right level of prior learning. It’s not easy for us to give a complete list so we do reserve the right not to accept a qualification. If you’re not sure just get in touch with us
  • If you are successful and we offer you a place you’ll need to show us your certificates

Diversity and Inclusion at Network Rail

We’re an inclusive employer of choice, Disability Confident Leader employer, encourage people to work flexibly and we welcome applications from everyone. Visit Evenbreak’s Career Hive should you need accessibility support to apply. Should you require any reasonable adjustments/modifications, please contact the recruitment team.

When you apply, we will consider you for vacancies at depots within 60 minutes travel time of your current home address. If you wish to be considered for a different geographical area, you’ll have the option of letting us know during your application.

So now you’ve read all the important information on the website and you’re ready to get going with your application.

Frequently asked questions

We view our graduates and apprentices as the future of our business. So, we invest in you. We support you. And, while you’re not obliged to stay with us at the end of the scheme, we hope you’ll have had such an amazing experience here, that you’ll want to take your career further with us.

You’ll gain an externally recognised qualification, accredited by Edexcel, City & Guilds and ILM. This reflects the high quality of our training. You’ll also work towards a range of engineering qualifications to support your career development in the future.

Your safety matters hugely to us. So your training, on or off-site, will always be supervised by established and experienced engineers.

The scheme start date is 27th March 2024.

Because you’ll be studying at the same time as working, we need you to have a certain level of prior learning in specific areas before you start. After all these are the foundations, you’ll build on during your training.

You can apply for any depot as long as it takes no longer than 60-minutes to travel to it.

You’ll be learning, growing, and shaping your future career. Our three-year programme is designed to give you a mixture of practical hands-on experience whilst enhancing your theory and industry knowledge. This will give you an all-round appreciation of engineering in the rail industry together with nationally recognised qualifications.

Your health and safety will always be at the forefront of our minds too. And because you’ll be working in a safety critical environment, around live wires, and on train tracks, you’ll undergo specialist training. If you’re successful in the selection process we’ll ask you to attend a medical before we confirm your offer of a place on this scheme, as part of our pre-employment process. This is confidential and will involve hearing and vision checks, alongside establishing any existing medical conditions you may have, or medication you take and understanding your general health.

The outcome of your medical may mean that we are unable to confirm your offer. Where adjustments or restrictions are suggested we always do our best to accommodate these. Please note all roles at Network Rail include a drug and alcohol screening process which will form part of your medical.

Please get in touch with us if you would like to discuss this.

Further questions matter

We’ve tried to think of everything and cover off all the key aspects of our application process. But, if there’s anything you’re still unclear about or would like more detail on, please email us at or give us a call on 01635 584137 (9:00am – 5:30pm).