Nexus takes on first female apprentices in more than twenty years

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For the first time in over two decades Nexus has taken on two female engineering apprentices.

The company which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, has welcomed Morgan Saville, 18, from East Boldon in South Tyneside and Sam Davenport, 17, from Fulwell in Sunderland – who are among ten new apprentices to join the Nexus Apprenticeship Scheme.

It is the first time that Nexus has taken on women in trainee engineering roles since the early 1990s. In previous years many applicants have been unsuccessful for roles or the interest has been strictly all male.

Director of Rail and Infrastructure for Nexus, Raymond Johnstone, said: “This is our third consecutive year of apprentice recruitment, which is vital for securing Metro’s long term future.

“I’m pleased to say that we have had two successful female applicants this year. We are committed to seeing more women in engineering roles.

“This scheme delivers an excellent standard of vocational training. The successful applicants will get to embark on an exciting career in the railway industry.

“We expanded our apprentice recruitment in 2013 to get fresh skills into the organisation for the years to come.”

Nexus expanded its apprentice scheme with the aim of taking on ten apprentices a year over a three year period. The programme, designed and delivered in partnership with Gateshead College, offers an ideal opportunity to start a career in rail engineering.

The successful applicants will carry out training at Gateshead College and at the Nexus rail engineering base at South Gosforth in Newcastle.

This will lead to them achieving an NVQ Level 2 Performing Engineering Operations and BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Electrical/Electronic Engineering. They will also gain English, maths and IT skills at Level 2. Apprentices then work towards an HNC in electrical engineering on a full time programme of just under six months.

The competition for places was fierce as Nexus received hundreds of applications which met the minimum requirements for the scheme, and the field had to be whittled down to just ten people.

Nexus has a long Individuals on the apprenticeship programme will spend their first year on block release within the college’s Team Valley campus as well as receiving training in the workplace.

It has overhauled and expanded its advanced engineering training programme in partnership with expert provider Gateshead College, having previously sent apprentices to other parts of the country for basic training.

Recently awarded Ofsted outstanding for its engineering, manufacturing and technology apprenticeships, Gateshead College is one of the region’s leading providers of apprenticeships. They have been working with Nexus since 2013 to develop and deliver a tailor made programme covering all aspects of rail engineering including electrical and mechanical, signalling and communications training.

Chris Toon, Deputy Principal at Gateshead College said: “We are proud to play our part in training and upskilling the workforce at Nexus, ensuring that its engineers are equipped with the skills and knowledge that are vital to providing an efficient Metro service. It’s also fantastic to see that more women are taking the opportunity to work with Nexus in roles that are traditionally male-dominated and we hope more will follow suit.

“The partnership with Nexus has continued to flourish over the past three years and like many other businesses, they choose to work with us because we listen to and meet their needs; we understand that every employer is different and we become a training partner not just a supplier of training.”