We spoke to Ollie Marshall, a Project engineering Apprentice at Alstom.

Can you describe your role in a few words?

I am a Project Engineering Apprentice gaining experience on railway signalling projects within Alstom. I am currently working on the Cambridge Re-Signalling Project (C3R), and also supporting the Contractor’s Engineering Manager (CEM) with the assurance and acceptance side of the project.

What were you doing prior to your Apprenticeship?

Prior to this, I was a school leaver so I had no relevant experience for this industry. I have completed GCSEs, A Levels and a Foundation Year with Hertfordshire University.

What was your perception of the sector before you started your apprenticeship?

When I was younger, I was not aware of what jobs / careers were available within the railway industry, as the resources were never available at careers fairs, job talks or made readily available online, so I was only aware of the blue collar jobs within the industry (the orange army!)

What interested you in joining Alstom?

I liked the values that Alstom held. They present themselves as an employer that care about their employees, which I definitely agree with and appreciate. I was also interested with the job itself, owing to the exposure and experience that it offered, with a competitive salary and good qualifications.

What are the key things you’ve learnt so far in your job?

I have learnt certain pieces of knowledge that are specialist to my role, project and the company, but I have also developed key skills such as presenting, communication and gained a much better understanding of what the rail industry has to offer.

What is the most exciting part of your role?

I think the most exciting part about my role is the variety within the role, as well as being given the opportunity to take on more responsibilities once I have proven that I can handle it. This is something I find really enjoyable (especially for the future) as it means that I am constantly progressing, with the main barrier being how hard I am willing to work.

Have you worked on the HS2 project through your apprenticeship?

I have not worked on HS2 yet, but I know that Alstom is completing work as part of this project (such as rolling stock).

What would you like to do after completing your apprenticeship?

I am not completely sure as to what I would like to do with my career as of yet, but I could potentially see myself progressing through the ranks as a project engineer, principal project engineer, etc.