Where will this course lead?

Rail Engineering Technicians provide technical support to Rail Engineers. The engineering disciplines cover the following areas of the railway: infrastructure and trains, track (including minor works), overhead line, electrification, signalling, telecommunications, traction and rolling stock and rail systems.

Those employees working within rail engineering are responsible for the safe construction, installation, maintenance and renewal of the railway, to provide a safe and reliable experience for customers. The rail industry has a high level of safety-critical work activities and therefore requires a disciplined and responsible approach.

A Rail Engineering Technician may work on-site, in a depot, or in a technical office and their work could involve:

· Construction, installation, renewal, enhancement and modification of the railway.

· Fault finding and diagnosis to prevent or address equipment failures.

· Maintenance and replacement of systems and components.

· Functional and operational testing and inspection of the railway using specialist equipment.

· Ensuring assets are installed, replaced or maintained to specification and maintaining required records.

For those Rail Engineering Technicians who have the ability and drive, there is a wide range of further development and career progression opportunities within Rail Engineering.

This apprenticeship is suitable for currently working in, or progressing into the following roles:

Track Technician; Overhead Line Technician; Electrification Technician; Traction & Rolling Stock Technician; Signalling Technician; Telecoms Technician; Rail Systems Technician.

What will I study?

You will study the knowledge, skills and behaviours as set out within the apprenticeship standard, which will include the following core subjects…

· Safe and professional working practices, including legislation

· Scientific, technical, engineering, mathematical and design principles that are required to support railway maintenance, renewal and construction

· Working effectively and contributing to engineering solutions and innovation, including project management, diagnostics and quality

· The importance of 3rd party requirements and client confidentiality

· How the railway works commercially, including contracts and implications

· Interpreting drawings, plans and schedules for engineering activity

· Manage resources including storage of tools, materials and equipment

· Professional and effective communication, including use of IT

How will this course be delivered?

The apprenticeship programme consists of 'on-the-job' and 'off-the-job' training. You will receive on-the-job training from your employer and will also be allowed 20% off-the job training, which will involve your college day-release and independent study.

Your independent study will be recorded in a learning journal, to capture evidence of your experiences, reflections and achievements.

An assessor coach will be allocated to you and will visit your workplace on a regular basis, liaising with your work-based mentor, but you will also receive master-class workshops from college tutors.

This will give you the opportunity to do real work, developing work-based skills that employers' value and helping you to progress in your chosen career.

What qualifications will I get?

· Level 3 Rail Engineering Technician Apprenticeship Standard

· Level 2 Functional Skills Maths and English (if required)

How will I be assessed?

The apprentice's progress and development will be assessed at regular stages - this is likely to be a combination of assignments, activities, exams, reflective discussions and observations in the workplace.

The employer and training provider will formally sign-off the apprentice's readiness for the independent End Point Assessment (EPA) at 'gateway'. Gateway is the point at which the apprentice has met and can confidently apply the minimum knowledge, skills and behaviours required, as detailed within the apprenticeship standard.

The End-Point Assessment (EPA) will consist of 3 distinct components:

· Occupational competence validation interview (Viva)

· Professional competence assessment supported by portfolio of evidence

Performance in the EPA will determine your overall apprenticeship grade i.e. pass or distinction.

How do I get a place on the course?

In order to gain a place on this course, applicants must meet the entry criteria and attend a formal interview. All applications are to be submitted via the college website:


If you have a learning difficulty or disability, please let us know when you apply. If you need help with completing your application and at interview, we can provide support:


What are the entry requirements?

To secure a place of study on the Level 3 Rail Engineering Technician Apprenticeship programme, the minimum entry requirements are as follows:

· 5 GCSEs at Grade 4/C or above and the below…

· English GCSE Grade 4/C, Level 2 Functional Skills, or equivalent

· Mathematics GCSE Grade 4/C, Level 2 Functional Skills, or equivalent

· Demonstrate a passion for the engineering and manufacturing industry

· Be at least 16 years of age

You must also be employed in a relevant field (as indicated above) for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

What else do I need to know?

This course is a part-time programme and you will be expected to attend 1 day per week, between the hours of 09:00 to 17:00. Timetables will be issued to successful applicants prior to induction and enrolment, at the beginning of the course.

As part of the national apprenticeship guidance, you will also undergo Equality and Diversity, British values and Prevent Training, which will prepare you with the necessary behaviour needed to work within the construction industry.

Furthermore, you will also be required to complete 20% 'off-the-job' training as a minimum requirement for the apprenticeship course, which may require self-directed study, where will be supported by your assessor coach and work-based mentor.

There are no direct additional costs for this course, but you may want to purchase some text books for further reading. A suggested reading list will be supplied at the beginning of your course; however, we also have a wide selection of library books and electronic books for you to use too. You will be expected to supply your own stationery, such as folders, pens and paper. Connection to the internet is expected, but facilities are available at college to do this if necessary. Please contact the Employer Services Team for more information regarding funding and costs: apprenticeships@solihull.ac.uk

Please note that employers are responsible for providing, replacing and paying for the apprentice's Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which is required for training in our workshop environments.

What can I do after this course?

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, you can:

· Continue your employment in the industry


· Progress onto the Level 4 Engineering Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship



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Rail Engineering Technician Apprenticeship

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The career paths provided are to give you an idea of the careers that you could progress onto in the future. However, for some, you may need to complete higher level qualifications and gain experience before your dream job becomes a reality. The information provided is to support further research and to generate some initial career ideas when choosing a course. Please check entry requirements to degree courses, apprenticeships, and jobs as this may vary from year to year and across providers. For further advice and guidance, please contact: careers@solihull.ac.uk.