National Apprenticeship Week with Rio Pearce

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Learn something new every day with an apprenticeship.

At West Midlands Railway we aim to inspire the next generation to get involved in the railway. One route into a career on the tracks is through a number of apprenticeship schemes on offer.

We caught up with Engineering Apprentice, Rio Pearce, on her apprenticeship and how she became a member of our railway family. Here is what she had to say?

What made you want to join West Midlands Railway as an apprentice?

I wanted to join West Midlands Railway as an apprentice because the apprenticeship opportunity looked very attractive. I was also interested in joining a larger company as it offers multiple opportunities to learn from others who are experts in their industry. I have also heard that West Midlands Railway is a great place to work, so I didn’t want to miss the chance to be part of an inclusive company that wants to see people succeed.

What do you enjoy most about being an apprentice?

The thing I enjoy most about being an apprentice is learning. Every day I learn something new and I love knowing that I am making progress. My apprenticeship takes me on a journey every day and it is great knowing that my knowledge of the industry is expanding every time I step into work.

Image of Rio Pearce's testimonial card which reads, every day I learn something new and I love knowing I am making progress.

What is it like being a female apprentice in an industry that is considered to be male-dominated?

I don’t think being a female apprentice is much different from being a male apprentice. I get on with everyone really well, there’s no stereotyping, everyone is super friendly, and we all treat each other equally and with respect.

What would you say to young women who are interested in the railway?

I would say to anyone who wants to get into engineering or the railway to go for it! If it is something you are interested in and is something you are willing to learn, then an apprenticeship can open several doors for you. Not only do I find it fun, but it is also a brilliant career.

If you are interested in joining an apprenticeship on the railway, you can sign up for career alerts . Or consider joining a college that promotes our railway apprenticeships. The main providers we work with are BMET for engineering apprenticeships and Train’dUp for train driver apprenticeships.

Apprenticeship recruitment usually takes place in May. So, keep an eye out for any opportunities coming your way!