Railway Signalling Design Engineer Apprenticeship - TFL

Training Provider:

Transport For London

£19,663 (to be reviewed when London living wage is announced)
40.0 hours per week
duration: 3 Years
start: 1 September 2020
SE10 0ES
Advanced(level 3)
Railway engineering design technician (apprenticeship standard)
10 positions available
25 March 2020 (application closing date)

Level 3

Railway Engineering Design Technician

3 years


£19,663 (reviewed in line with London Living Wage)

Job overview

Our Railway Signalling Engineers focus on the assets that form the foundation of our transport system. These engineers are responsible for the design and acceptance of new signalling solutions across the underground utilising both legacy and modern types of signalling equipment. Systems developed by these engineers are responsible for the safe carriage of passengers and the delivery of an efficient and reliable train service.

During this scheme, you’ll learn aspects of the signalling infrastructure used on the underground from the trackside and train-borne equipment to the strategic need of signalling safety to enable the safe passage of trains and the carriage of our many customers.

The safe movement of trains is the lifeblood of the city, learning and contributing to how we enable the safe and efficient carriage of the public allowing them carry out their daily activities bringing wealth to the nation.

What will I be doing?

As an apprentice, your 3 year development programme will be made up of up to 6 to 9 placement rotations. Our aim is to equip you with the range of skills and experience you need for your successful career. We also understand that everyone’s career is different, so every apprentice’s journey is unique. Here’s an idea of what yours could look like:

Year 1

Placement 1 – Signalling Systems (Major Projects) – 6 months – You will be involved in many aspects of the delivery of a major signalling system upgrade project, including Performance Modelling, System Delivery, Implementation and Project Safety & Assurance. You will assist in ensuring that designs meet the required specifications and apply project control processes, including risk assessment and hazard identification. You will also assist with & observe testing & commissioning activities.

Placement 2 – Train Control Systems – 3 months – You will undertake various Engineering Assurance activities, such as supporting the signalling product approval process and producing Written Notices to amend and clarify engineering standards. You’ll also get involved in Incident Investigations to identify root causes and recommend solutions and improvements.

Placement 3 – Engineering System Safety – 3 months – You will employ a variety of Engineering Safety Management processes to ensure that risks associated with engineering changes are tolerance and reduced to as low as reasonably practicable. You’ll assess each change with respect to its complexity and novelty,undertake risk assessments and compile the evidence to produce the required Safety Case.

Year 2

Placement 4 – Signal Maintenance – 6 months – You will spend time with the Routine Maintenance, New Works and Engineering Support teams. You’ll gain hands-on experience of operational signalling equipment, ranging from 1950s technology through to modern solid state signal control computers. You will assist with routine servicing, project support works, failure investigations and testing techniques.

Placement 5 - Control & Information – 3 to 6 months – Control & Information systems provide an interface between the control room operator, the signaller, trains and infrastructure to enable the control and schedule regulation of train services. The systems span many decades, ranging from relay logic to fully computerised solutions. You will become involved in many aspects of these systems, including the production of designs and documentation to enable changes, improvements and enhancements.

Placement 6 - Cyber Security – 1 to 2 months – Cyber security isn’t just about IT systems; many engineering systems use computer-based equipment and networks, including signalling systems. You’ll work with the Cyber Security team to understand and support this aspect of railway signalling systems. You’ll assist with resonding to cyber security incidents and help to provide cyber security advice to senior discipline engineers.

Year 3

Placement 7 - Signalling Design Office – 6 months – You will learn about principles of signalling design, requirements capture and problem solving. You’ll produce CAD drawings and undertake configuration & change control activities.

Placement 8 – Return to preferred placement for final 6 months.

Additional information;

To ensure that you gain sufficient breath and depth to build up your portfolio of engineering experience and knowledge, all Railway Signalling Engineering Apprentices will undertake the following placements: Major Projects, Train Control Systems, Maintenance, Design Office and Control & Information.

Placements may vary in duration, but are typically between 3 and 6 months in length. This will depend on the details of the work being undertaken during the placement, for example, one apprentice may have a 6-month placement with one Major Projects team, but another apprentice may have 2 x 3-month placements with two different Major Projects teams. This may become necessary to ensure that you continue to gain sufficient breath and depth of experience, particularly as each project progresses through its various stages.

During the course of your placements, you will need to gain an understanding and experience of Engineering Safety Management and cyber security. It may be possible to gain sufficient experience and understanding in these areas during the core placements, dependent on the detail of the activities undertaken.

There is scope for apprentices to arrange placements in areas other than those listed above, such as rolling stock (vehicles) or permanent way, provided that the activities/work to be undertaken continues to grow and build your portfolio of evidence and experience.

What do we look for?

Everything we do as an organisation is to ensure that our evolving city remains future-proof for millions of Londoners. Our talented apprentices form a vital part of that vision, so it’s important that we find the best people to help us do this. We’re looking for people who have:

  • An inquisitive mind
  • A willingness to learn
  • Resilience and adaptability

As a member of the team, we’ll give you responsibility and the opportunity to add value. If you are excited by inspiring and influencing the future of London then this is the career path for you.

Where can this career take me?

Upon successful completion of this scheme, you could roll-off into the signalling design team, designing modifications to the existing signalling arrangements and contributing to the introduction of new signalling system which could lead to further career development opportunities such as signalling design engineer or a role in signalling testing & commissioning. The activities undertaken as a Railway Signalling Engineering Design Apprentice will also stand you in good stead if you wish to become licensed with the Institute of Railway Signalling Engineers (IRSE).

What training and support will you get?

You will be working towards a Level 3 qualification as a Railway Engineering Design Technician.

Typically, you will be required to attend college 1 day a week.

Whilst on the scheme, we’ll support your technical development through a wide range of on-the-job practical experiences and placements. We’ll also support your professional development through a combination of classroom-led training courses, online training courses, mentoring opportunities and structured networking opportunities. You will receive one-to-one support throughout the programme from your scheme sponsor and your Line Manager. You’ll also be connected to a ‘buddy’ who will be a more experienced apprentice from the scheme.

Entry requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSE’s Grade A* - C or Grade 4 and above including Maths and English language.

You are not eligible for this scheme if you currently hold or are working towards a qualification at the same or higher level in a related subject or have already studied content from the qualification for this scheme.

You must be 18 years of age by 1st September 2020 to be eligible for this scheme.

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About the employer

From the famous red buses and black cabs to the Tube, TfL is responsible for virtually every mode of transport in the city.

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