Career Q&A: Caitlin, Fleet Apprentice
Where are you from?
Job title and base location
Fleet Apprentice, Manchester
What made you want to get into this line of work?
I was in the Sea Cadets for five years where I had the opportunity to study some engineering and took part in district and area competitions for three years running. I enjoy engineering because it’s different and something that wasn’t open to me previously as I did not have the opportunity to study it at high school or college.
I enjoy the challenge and the idea of having a good career, as there is now a demand for engineers due to generations retiring. I find engineering interesting and every day is different. I hated the idea of having a job that was repetitive.
How long have you been doing it for?
I’m one of TPE’s eight apprentices and joined the business on 5th September 2016.
What does your job involve?
My job involves working in and experiencing different departments across TPE while at the same time, learning a trade as a rail technician engineer.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done at work this week?
Discussions regarding the refurbishment of our largest fleet of trains, the Class 185s. These trains will be getting a full makeover and will be refurbished to ‘like-new’ standard with brand new, comfortable seating and on-board Wi-Fi.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the variation that my role has to offer. Each day is different; no two are ever the same.
Any advice for women wishing to join the rail industry?
The advice that I would give to others is that if you want something, work hard for it. Try to get as much experience as you can, for example volunteering with a charity. I volunteer for the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Group in Freckleton as part of my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, and this is a fantastic opportunity for someone to gain some hands on experience.
Furthermore, get some work experience whether it’s with the railway or for an engineering company. Work experience is a brilliant way to experience the “real world” whilst also giving you the opportunity to see whether this is the role/industry for you.