Apprentice Rudy OsborneRudy Osborne started his apprenticeship in summer 2015.

He did 13 weeks of classroom and on-track training with Arc Academy in Watford and attended an interview with VGC manager Ian Keen. Ian invited Rudy to join the Track Partnership apprenticeship programme. Apprentices receive the usual rates of pay for the job they do, as well as support for their training.

Rudy was placed in a gang based near his home, with foremen Andy O’Shea and Michael McCarney. He meets his NVQ trainer once a week as he prepares for his NVQ Level 2 in Rail Engineering Underpinning Knowledge. He says: “Andy and Michael always know what to do. If something goes wrong, they know how to fix it.”

Rudy, who describes himself as a ‘hands-on’ person, says he really enjoys getting involved in the job. “The teams are really good; always helping me out. They know I’m new and they’ve got a huge lot  of experience – they teach me new things every shift. I’ve moved around to different gangs and I’ve learned technical skills, how to use different machines and tools, and tips to make things easier. The teams make sure I learn the quick, easy, safe way to do things like keying and unkeying rail.”

Rudy viewed his apprenticeship as a way to get a start in the engineering industry, and he’s seen the way other people have progressed. “I really enjoy looking over at something once the job has finished, and thinking ‘I was part of making that’.”