Careers in Rail: Interview with Learner Jonathan Tranter
Your name: Jonathan Tranter
Job role: High Speed Rail and Infrastructure Civils Apprentice Location: 19 Cornwall Street, Birmingham
Apprenticeship you are studying towards: Level 4 Civil Engineering (working on a joint venture with Effiage and Kier)
Railway-News: Why did you decide to study at the National College for High Speed Rail?
Jonathan Tranter: I wanted to make a career change but found that the options I had for transferring my skills were limited. Looking at the scale of development within the HS2 project, I thought it was a great opportunity to be at the start of something new so I decided to approach the college through the apprenticeship opportunities it had to offer.
RN: How do the facilities and training at the NCHSR compare with your expectations of it?
JT: I have been really impressed with my experience so far. I was a bit nervous, because the technology has moved on a bit since I was last at college, but the support is there to help in any areas where we feel we need it. The mix of permanent college lecturers and guest lecturers from companies working on HS2 means we are getting a great mix of expertise.
RN: How does study here compare with the training you receive on your regular apprenticeship, and how, if at all, does it affect your experience of it?
JT: The training I receive within our apprenticeship is quite task specific, so what we learn in the college helps me to see how what I am working on fits into the larger picture. Because different companies are working on different aspects, the study means that no areas are left undiscovered.
RN: Has studying with apprentices from other schemes across the UK made a difference to your experience of the training?
JT: It has been interesting to work with apprentices from different areas, just to gain an understanding of what they are working on. When we work together on projects, it is great as it means everybody is bringing different knowledge and experiences to the group.
RN: Do you think that the resources at the college will improve your prospects of a career in rail and your capacity to do the work?
JT: I think the apprenticeships we are working in will open a lot of doors moving forward. It is exciting to be at the start of such a major project, and to be one of the first apprentices to be focussed on high-speed rail. It is already clear that there are some massive opportunities available through learning about HS2.
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