Network Rail need to fill around 240 places locally on this year’s scheme which could see youngsters training alongside the Royal Navy or heading to higher education.
Route managing director Dyan Crowther wants parents, educators and young people alike to realise the future career opportunities that an apprenticeship can bring, including a university education at work.
Mrs Crowther added: “There are many paths to achieve a successful career.
“Whether you join straight from school or after college or work, the apprenticeship programme can be the first step to a challenging career. An apprenticeship can also open doors to a university education.
“We need a highly skilled workforce to meet the challenges of a busier network.”
She added that while many apprentices go on to be team leaders and rise through the ranks, others study part-time for a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in engineering and a degree at Sheffield Hallam University.
Network Rail apprentices spend a year training alongside the Royal Navy at Europe’s largest engineering training facility at HMS Sultan in Hampshire.
There they learn both the technical skills required to work on the railway and develop leadership and teamwork behaviours to make them more effective in their roles. For the next two years they learn their trade, working within an experienced team, continuing to return to HMS Sultan for additional courses and training.
From the North West, there are currently 15 apprentices taking part in the first year of the programme, completing their training at HMS Sultan before heading out to their respective depots in Liverpool, Manchester, Preston and Carlisle this summer.
Details can be found at www.facebook.com/ontrack.