Now the Navy train wheeltappers?


War Hero

Network Rail is looking for more than 1,000 youngsters to play a key role in rebuilding our railways in a £30million investment scheme.

Those who complete the three-year course are guaranteed a job with Network Rail's maintenance section which has centres across the country.

The apprenticeships come with a salary of £9,000 in the first year, rising to £13,000 by the third.

Iain Coucher, deputy CEO of Network Rail, says: "This scheme is a fantastic opportunity."

The first year's training is based at the HMS Sultan in Gosport, Hampshire, with experts from the Royal Navy, Network Rail and Flagship Training. Accommodation includes a pool and sports facilities.

The course will provide a solid background in engineering, leading to NVQs at level 2 and 3 and a BTEC National Award technical certificate.


Lantern Swinger
Been coming as a partnership for some time, and it won't be the last. If we can train the Army, then we can train the railway staff! It's also a subtle plan to have us all pre-trained for the next railway strike.


There's currently a Network Rail apprentice course running at Collingwood.
Interestingly, they have not had the expected amount of wastage (due to dropping out) as is normally expected. Apparently the reason cited is the military environment in which they're taught!


All very well but their arrival has had a very serious effect upon standards and ethos at MWS. There have been a number of serious disciplinary incidents since they arrived and there now seems to be a trend of 'jack-baiting.' And its not just Network Rail. The DCSA and GCHQ civillian students have also caused serious problems (hard drugs, alcohol, violence, abuse of facilities and equipment) which have proved extremely difficult to curb.

The 'official' answer is that they sign a code of conduct which will be strictly adhered to and those that stray from it will be removed. And in fairness some have. However Flagship, with their customary inactivity, sloppiness and general management incompetence that at times defies belief, have managed to adeptly pass the problem to overworked and very stretched dark blue uniforms to sort out.

And its goning to get a lot worse. When FOTR glibly signs off the Training Delivery Business Case (which will see a vast number of uniformed posts civilliansied - although no one seems to know where all these civillain experts will come from) - the uniform presence at the RNs largest establishment is going to be severly diluted and that is going to exasperate the problem. We are already seeing the needs of the RN placed behind those of income generation courses (NR, DCSA etc). Senior Managemnt know this but write it off glibly as Management Risk. Well the risk has been proven. 1SL in his haul down alluded to the severd budgetry constraints of the service and the loss of ships. This is bad enough but it is not just Fleet that is in toruble - in the training establishments we are busy generating for the future a whole host of new problems.

We have cut not to the bone but into it and our alliance with Flagship, and the amount of timer we spend sorting out their business, is taking our eye off the ball - training the men and women of the best Navy in the world.


Lantern Swinger
Senior Officers are looking higher than Network Rail, take my word for it!

This is "income streaming" which potentially could have been good, but is beginning to fail because of a clash of cultures - and the command structure that used to be in place when it was Dark Blue has been usurped by Flagship and is no longer rigid enough to control situation. There is still a fear of failure, and to announce that allowing this training idea is a failure is too much of a step to take. Therefore, the remaining Dark Blue must make this work, as they always have to....


Lantern Swinger
Navy1 - check PM.

For information - if anybody else has anything verifiable to say about the state of affairs at MWS and the Railworks or Flagship situation, then please PM me. Ranting is not enough, it must be factual as it is being pushed up the line, you can stay anonymous (but I would prefer a name or section/school if possible).

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