Nexus has welcomed its 2022 cohort of apprentices, following an extensive recruitment campaign earlier this year.
Ten people, aged from 17-38, are starting their training in a variety of roles, including Metro track and signalling engineers, business administration, Shields Ferry crew, and automatic fares collection.
Some will learn the skills needed to look after the 77km network of Metro train tracks, 270 signals and all ticket machines, while others will be working within key business units behind the scenes in Nexus.
Katie Goldston, 19, has started an apprenticeship in Infrastructure, where she will gain a working knowledge of all the signalling, electrical and telecommunications systems on the Metro network. She said: “I had previously started a degree in Law, but I didn’t get very far before I realised it wasn’t for me. I wanted something more hands on and practical, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. It’s completely different but it’s been great so far, I’m learning so much.”
Another new starter, Brogan Clarke, age 17, started an apprenticeship in Automatic Fares Collection, where he’ll be part of a team responsible for the maintenance of all ticket machines, validators and gatelines on the Metro network. He said: “I knew I wanted to do an apprenticeship, because I wanted something that was hands on and varied, so this seemed ideal. I’m looking forward to getting started with the team and working towards my engineering qualifications.”
Two of the new apprentices, Nick Mansfield and James Wangadia, already worked for Nexus, on stations as customer service advisors. Nick has transferred onto an apprenticeship in Learning and Development, and James onto the Ferry crew.
James said: “I was always keen on working on the ferry so went for this opportunity when it came up. I’m enjoying working with the crew and I’m looking forward to working towards my Boatmaster license so I can drive the ferry.”
Nexus has a successful track record in recruiting apprentices, with most of them progressing on to permanent full-time employment or higher-level training after serving their time as trainees.
Head of Learning at Nexus, Heather Blevins, said: “Apprenticeships are vital for the long-term future of the Nexus.
“We are committed to developing early career paths, providing solid succession planning for critical roles. Apprenticeships are an ideal route both for us and the apprentice. They learn bespoke skills and competencies with a good chance of getting a permanent job at the end of the apprenticeship, and we gain skilled and engaged employees who see real career development.
“Apprentices get first class training, opening the door to a brilliant career in the railway and public transport industry. It is vital that we invest in training and development to ensure that we continue to deliver the essential services to our customers for many more years to come.”
Nexus apprentices get training on the job with experienced colleagues, at Nexus’ bespoke Learning Centre in South Shields and via external training providers.
Photo – Eight of the ten new apprentices at Nexus Learning Centre in South Shields