Jodie Pocock, Network Rail

Posted: 23rd of July 2019 by Naomi

How long have you been running an apprenticeship programme?
Network Rail has had a graduate scheme for over 10 years and as the scheme manager I ran the college leaver apprentice scheme for over 4 years.

Tell us about your apprenticeship programme.
We have two levels. College leaver join after A Levels, start with AAT levels 3 & $, followed by CIMA Level 7. The grad scheme join after completing their degree and study CIMA Level 7.

Why do you use the CIMA programme?
CIMA's syllabus best fits the Network Rail Finance working environment due to its business-focused and management accounting subjects.

What benefits does your organisation see in taking on apprentices?
Growing our own talent and helping towards retention is a key benefit, as is assisting with our Diversity and Inclusion aims. It also provides fresh outlooks on the business.

What kind of tasks and activities do your apprentices get involved in?
They are involved in a wide range of activities from management accounting, investment paper appraisal, business planning, forecasting, business partnering, leading meetings and much more.

How do you support your apprentices to successfully complete their study and work experience?
Network Rail provides study leave as well as workplace mentors to assist the apprentices with any assistance they may require. All placements are aware of when exams are so they can ease workload. Apprentices also get day release at college for their studies.

Why would you recommend an apprenticeship to an employer?
It's a great opportunity to grow your own talent and have fresh views on things which have been done a certain way for a long time.

And to someone thinking of becoming an apprentice?
It's a great opportunity to learn on the job while studying and earning at the same time. You can put the theory into practice.

Can you share any particular success stories from your apprentices?
Many of our graduates are now Financial Controllers and Finance Directors within the business. Overall the schemes are highly thought of and our apprentices always receive great feedback.

What benefits does your organisation see in taking on apprentices?
It helps towards staff retention as well as diversity and inclusion. It allows our business to have input from people who are new to the workplace. It also gives existing employees a chance to mentor/coach new entrants as well as having placement management experience.

Ready to start your CIMA Journey?
Find out more: cimaglobal.com/apprenticeships

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