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An Apprenticeship Success Story – Jake Neal-Brown

Jake Neal-Brown was originally training to become a plumber, when he came across a very different opportunity to enrol on a Level 2 Rail Engineering Apprenticeship with INFRA Skills. He had never envisioned himself working on the railway, but having spoken to others, he was encouraged by their experiences within the sector.

Having looked into the programme in more detail, he discovered the fantastic career prospects, and decided to enrol onto the apprenticeship. “During my apprenticeship I gained a detailed understanding of the railway, giving me the underpinning knowledge to continually progress. We regularly had the opportunity to put our theory into practice with shifts on-track, further expanding my skillset and knowledge.”

During his apprenticeship Jake got to work on various projects across the UK. This included the GWEP project on the Great Western Railway (GWR) where he assisted with installation of the overhead line equipment.

Once Jake had completed the apprenticeship programme, he felt like he was ready to start his new career, having gained an abundance of experience from his training and mentoring over the past year. “I felt confident starting work, and excited and for my future prospects within the industry. Having built up great relationships with staff and clients, I was given fantastic access to progression and supported throughout the training programme. Over the next 5 years I gained my COSS, Lookout, Level Crossing Attendant, Points operative and Safe Work Leader 1.”

Recently Jake was successful in applying for a trainee trainer position within INFRA Skills. After 3 months he completed his Level 3 Award in Adult Education and Training (AET) and began his mentorship to be able to train Personal Track Safety Initial (PTS). After shadowing and assisting other INFRA Skills trainers, he successfully completed his certification to become a qualified National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) Accredited trainer for PTS AC Initial.  

Since joining INFRA Skills, Jake has also gained his First Aid at Work competency, Protection Controller (PC) and Safe Work Planner (SWP). Jake can also teach a number of INFRA Skill’s in-house training courses such as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Training, Urban Traffic Marshal, Face Fit and various Small Tools.

Jake has great plans for the future, firstly passing his assessments to be able to teach; OLEC1, DCCR and Track Induction. “I want to adapt my current training knowledge and skills to be able to teach more safety-critical competencies. I want to ensure that I keep all my tickets up to date and continue to seek advice from my mentors, to help me progress and adapt to become a better trainer”.

Steve Cox, Head of Training said: “Jake had a great reputation within the industry; being known for his excellent teamwork, fantastic work ethic and varied skillset. From the initial interview we knew he would be a great fit within our team. Jake has been receiving positive feedback from staff, clients and learners for his knowledge of the sector, friendly approach to teaching, along with his professionalism. We are impressed with the quick progress Jake has made within his new role, and we are looking forward to seeing him develop even further.”   

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