Our Apprenticeship Schemes Are Open!

Our Apprenticeship Programmes look to bridge the skills gap facing the industry. At Colas Rail UK, we make the investment in training and development, to nurture the next generation of future engineering talent to fulfil their ambitions.

We have apprenticeships in Train Driving, Pway, Signalling, Design, Overhead Lines, Traction & Rolling Stock and Surveying. You’ll learn while you earn, gain first-hand job experience and immerse yourself as part of the team to complement your studies.

Each apprenticeship will have a combination of learning through block release dates at a college or training provider, as well as bespoke ‘On the Job’ training – developing you through the key competencies of your specialism, which you will need to deliver on site for one of our many contracts. This will meet both the knowledge and experience requirements of your Apprenticeship Programme.

Find out more about our Apprentice Programme, Gemma Simmonds our Head of Careers and Development tells you about the opportunities available and what you need to apply.


Applications for our Apprenticeship schemes have now closed.

Rail Engineering Technician –
Track Level 3

Build and develop an understanding of:

  • Track geometry including track gauge, alignment, elevation, curvature and track surface and the impact of train wheels;
  • The requirements, methods and techniques for the installation and maintenance of the track (rail, fastenings, sleepers) and the load bearing capacity of the track foundation;
  • The impact of the railway environment e.g. tunnels, embankments, vegetation and drainage.
  • On completion of this qualification you will be a Technical Engineer working on site, able to undertake detailed inspection and analyse the performance and condition of track and conductor rail systems, diagnose and correct faults and be able to use track specific plant and equipment.
Rail Engineering Technician Overhead Lines – Level 3

Build knowledge of excavation, ground works, different ‘piling’ methods and foundations.

Gain an understanding of construction design and bonding layouts, electrical clearance, insulation installation wiring and risks around radial load and correct methodology.

On completion of this qualification you will be a Technical Engineer working on site, have the ability to erect different types of overhead line structures, have an understanding of pre fabrication and the installation of main structure and small part steelwork, the running of wiring systems including sectioning, insulation and registration as well as in- span components and the installation, enhancement and renewal of earthing and bonding. You will also be able to use lifting and access equipment while working at heights.

Rail Engineering Design Technician – Level 3

Railway Engineering Design Technicians provide technical support to engineers who design infrastructure and systems for railways. The engineering disciplines involved include signalling, rolling stock, track, systems, civil engineering, communications, electrification and electrical plant.

You will gain an understanding of core engineering principles, including mathematical, scientific and technical know-how, to railway systems and the design process. Creation of technical drawings, plans and technical documentation using relevant conventions and engineering terminology related to railway systems.

Following the apprenticeship you will become fully conversant with the engineering drawings and technical documents needed to support and contribute to the production of railway engineering design solutions.

HS1 Apprentices

Discover what you can expect from our esteemed Apprenticeship Programmes – designed to educate, empower and inspire.
Rail Engineering Technician Traction & Rolling Stock – Level 3

Gain an understanding of vehicle design, construction, maintenance and operations. Develop a working knowledge of the traction and rolling stock systems, sub systems and components which include mechanical, electrical, process controller and fluid power equipment.

On completion of this qualification your systems knowledge will include traction, wheel sets, brakes, train protection, air conditioning and ventilation, customer information, doors, vehicle trim and fittings. You will be able to find, diagnose and correct faults, identify potential faults & defects within electrical circuits and maintain and renew a range of types of traction and rolling stock.

Rail Engineering Technician Signalling – Level 3

Gain an understanding of safety integrity and fundamental signalling principles as applied to train control systems, the varying types of signal control and the signalling symbols and alphabet used in signalling design drawings.

On completion of this qualification you will be a Technical Engineer working on site, able to apply installation and maintenance techniques and processes including wiring, cable access requirements and terminations, adjustment of signalling assets, locate and replace components and methods for signal component handling working on isolated and live signalling equipment. You will be able to undertake integrity checks and carry out testing of components and equipment, writing test plans in accordance with specifications.

Train Driver –
Level 3

As a Train Driver, you will be responsible for driving trains in a safe, punctual and economic manner over various routes throughout the UK in accordance with rail rules, regulations and procedures. Rail environments can vary and include, high speed, freight, underground, metro, suburban, cross border, depots, sidings or maintenance sheds; moving passengers, goods, and empty coaching stock or driving on-track machines to perform infrastructure maintenance work.

You will work shifts that include weekends, evenings and nights and if working on freight or engineering trains, work will tend to be on long-distance routes that may require overnight accommodation, which we will arranged for you.

This role may involve long periods of working on your own so being able to maintain a high level of concentration and make instant complex decisions quickly during normal and degraded conditions e.g. severe weather conditions, infrastructure failures and emergency working is essential. You will be able to communicate clearly and accurately with stakeholders, other rail industry personnel or the British Transport Police. You will supervise others, ensure compliance with regulations through safe and effective rail operation and have overall responsibility for passengers, staff and goods on the train.

Hear from our Apprentices about their experience!

Meet Edgaras, a Technical Apprentice who is involved with a number of works with the South Rail Systems Alliance.

Meet Elenor, a Permanent Way Apprentice who talks about her first steps into her Apprenticeship.

Meet Edd, a Traction and Rolling Stock Apprentice where his day-to-day involves keeping our on track machines at peak performance.

Meet Kaamil, who is an OLE Apprentice who’s invovled with the schemes at the South Rail Systems Alliance.