Trainees and work experience

Gain practical experience in how rail networks operate.

There are many entry-level roles in the rail industry.

Trainees work in supporting roles and earn a wage while they learn new skills. Some training will lead to nationally recognised qualifications. Traineeships are usually between six months and two years long. At the end of your training, you’ll have all the experience and skills required to perform your role.

Work experience placements can help you connect with employers while you finish school. You can get a feel for the industry before starting your career.

Entry level roles

You can find trainee and work experience opportunities in many areas of rail.


Cleaners maintain a clean and hygienic environment for rail passengers and staff. They use manual and powered equipment to wash and disinfect surfaces, remove litter, stains and graffiti.

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Document controller

Document controllers keep business documents current, processed and stored. They ensure records are safe, secure and available for business or project needs.

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Guard (Conductor)

Guards help customers plan their journey, and make sure they travel safely and comfortably to their destination. As a guard, you’ll assist customers on board train services.

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Handsignallers warn trains about upcoming worksites. They also warn track workers about oncoming trains. They help keep the rail corridor safe.

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Lookouts keep a continuous watch for approaching trains. They warn workers so they can move themselves and their tools to safety.

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Protection officer

Protection officers ensure workers in the rail corridor are safe. They assess work conditions, and select the right protection methods to protect workers from oncoming rail traffic.

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Revenue protection officer

Revenue protection officers perform ticket checks and issue infringements on passenger rail services. They support the safety and security of passengers.

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Stores workers assist freight operations. They receive, store and deliver goods to or from warehouses and freight depots.

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Trade assistant

A trade assistant supports tradespeople in workshops and on construction sites. They use tools, prepare work areas, clean equipment, and provide general labour.

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Train controller

Train controllers plan and control daily train schedules. They oversee the safe movement of trains using computerised train control signalling systems.

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Train driver

Train drivers move trains that carry passengers or freight. They drive trains along a rail network, use communication systems, and respond to signalling to safely reach their destination.

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Tram driver

Tram drivers move trams through urban networks. They navigate trams along busy roads while watching for pedestrians and other vehicles crossing their path.

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How to find trainee and work experience roles

Find a role that interests you and check organisations websites for application details. You can also contact an organisations careers teams to express interest.
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