Sarah Curlett is a Level 3 Rail Engineering Apprentice with Alstom, and has recently joined the High Speed Rail Group’s Apprentice Network.

Can you describe your role in a few words?

I am a mechanical and electrical fitter, which means that I move around the depot working on different things such as the modernisation of the class 390 Pendolino train, and also on the jubilee line module overhaul and the testing of products.

What were you doing prior to your Apprenticeship?

I started my apprenticeship at 16 straight from school so prior to my apprenticeship I was completing my GCSEs.

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

I hadn’t had much consideration into the engineering side of the rail industry but when I heard about the opportunity, I was very excited by the prospects.

What interested you in joining Alstom?

Alstom opened the Widnes depot in 2017 for the external Pendolino refurb so when I heard about this I was very intrigued to what this would entail. I also heard about the apprenticeship opportunity during my last year of school and when I came in to view the depot, I was very excited by the opportunity and the chance to make a difference within the rail industry.

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

I have learnt how to correctly and safely use high voltage when testing components as well as reading from a scope and fluke. I have also learnt the main safety aspects needed within the depot to ensure the protection of everyone at work.

What is the most exciting part of your role?

The most exciting part of my role is seeing the work that we produce make a real difference within the real world and the prospect for opportunities that may arise for me in the future. Seeing how far I can take my career in the rail industry also excites me.

What would you like to do after completing your apprenticeship?

I would like to extend my qualifications to the HNC – HND level and progress into a management route.