Jodie Watkins had always found herself enjoying more of a hands-on approach when it came to working. Having never considered the rail industry as a career before, she started to gather more of an incite into what it would entail from acquaintances she knew with first-hand experiences. She found out about an apprenticeship scheme, delivered by INFRA Skills, and thought this could be a great opportunity to start on a new career path.
“I was young at the time, and having discussed the prospects of an apprenticeship, I thought this would suit my learning style with its interactive teaching.”
In 2014 Jodie enrolled onto the Level 2 Railway Engineering Apprenticeship, delivered by INFRA Skills. Having left school without any qualifications, she was worried about completing her Maths and English Level 2 qualification, but INFRA Skills gave her and her peers, an abundance of support to ensure she passed this essential part of the programme.
Jodie found that the apprenticeship boosted her confidence significantly, particularly because she formed great relationships with her peers. She found that she progressed quickly, learning new things in abundance, as the programme progressed.
With the continuous access to on-site learning, it helped Jodie solidify what she was learning in the classroom. As a practical learner, she found the on-track exercises the most beneficial. The length of the programme also allowed Jodie to take in what she was learning at her own pace, meaning she didn’t become overwhelmed with new information. “When I started working on track, I found that the experience I had gained from my apprenticeship, gave me a great foundation of knowledge to feel confident within my new role.”
Once Jodie had completed her apprenticeship programme, she started working for the Track Warning Services (TWS) Division within RSS Infrastructure (RSS). She quickly advanced within the team, gaining many more competencies including; LOWS Operative, LOWS Lookout, ATWS Installer as well as SATWAS Controller.
Jodie enjoys working within the TWS department, especially because she gets the opportunity to travel all across the world. She described the work as tiring but rewarding, and hopes to progress to a Senior Technician within the future.
Dave Hodkinson, Deliver Manager for TWS said: “We ensure our staff have access to every opportunity to upskill themselves and progress within their roles. Jodie has quickly developed within our department, continuously adding to her list of high-level competencies. Jodie has become an integral part of our team, and we know she has a great future ahead of her within TWS.”