Northern Rail seeks the engineers of the future

Northern Trains has launched a recruitment campaign to attract the engineers of the future.

Engineering apprentices are being sought at five locations across the north of England, including Neville Hill in Leeds, to learn as they earn while working on and maintaining Northern’s nearly 400 strong fleet of trains.

These rare and exciting opportunities are likely to attract thousands of interested applicants and Northern is looking for candidates that have a ‘can do’ attitude, are great at problem solving, have a questioning mind and enjoy working in supportive team environments.

Modern trains are increasingly complex and full of advanced technology offering a rewarding opportunity in a multitude of roles for keen and talented individuals.

The 18 Rail Engineering Apprentice roles will be spread across maintenance depots in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Hull and Heaton in Newcastle and come with a starting salary of c£17,500 per year.

The successful applicants while undertake a 4-year training programme and will achieve a Level 3 qualification, in Rail Engineering Technician on Traction and Rolling Stock.

Jamie Wood, one of Northern’s engineering apprentices from last year said:

“At Northern I can challenge myself to be the best I can and develop new skills in a supportive environment.”

The apprenticeship scheme has been developed in partnership with the National Training Academy for Rail and Myerscough College in Preston.

For the first two years of the course, apprentices will spend three half terms living and studying in Myerscough College which offers a space to study, mix with your fellow apprentices but also a place for to relax and unwind with onsite facilities, a local shop and public transport to local Market Town and Preston City Centre.

When not at college apprentices will be at their home depots gaining practical experience as part of a guided learning programme.

Oliver Doyle, another current Northern engineering apprenticeship commented:

“It’s not the typical 9 to 5 job. No two days are the same and I love the variety of jobs and roles that I do. I learn something new every day. As an apprentice I have a wealth of knowledge at my disposal allowing me to expand my expertise and improve my skillset.

“As an apprentice engineer, my job involves servicing, repairing and maintaining Northerns fleet of trains along with learning and working towards my qualifications. I am most proud of being able to make a difference and getting trains out into service getting customers where they need to be on time.”

On completion of their qualification, apprentices will be qualified with the necessary experience under their belt to be able to apply for a variety of different roles, including Maintenance Engineer, Team Leader or Technical Engineer.

Jack Commandeur, engineering director for Northern commented on the apprenticeship opportunities:

“A regular in-take of apprentices is important to help nurture the next generation of railway engineers and engineering leaders.

“In these roles, the apprentices can develop their skills and experience in an environment that speaks to their passion for science and technology.

“We’re looking for people with a keen interest in mechanical, electrical and systems engineering and a strong desire to work hard to achieve success. We expect you to be passionate about your future career and be happy to carry on learning – our Apprenticeship Scheme takes dedication, enthusiasm, and personal commitment to complete.

“There will be a lot of permanent opportunities after you are qualified and many of our past apprentices are now enjoying rewarding and successful careers across our business.

“These apprenticeships are a really great and exciting opportunity, and we are expecting thousands of applicants.”

Northern’s engineering apprenticeships are open to anyone who is aged 16 by 1 September 2024. You must be aged 15 to apply. Northern is aiming to recruit apprenticeships on a 50/50 gender split.

Applications are open until the end of National Apprenticeship Week (18 February 2024) and more information is available at


This post is based on a press release issued by Northern Trains

Photo: Oliver Doyle Northern engineering apprentice


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