Early Careers

Here at ScotRail we are working to provide valuable employment opportunities and early careers programmes for young people across Scotland.

There have never been more varied and exciting apprenticeship opportunities at ScotRail, and we want to show that there’s a place for everyone in this business. ScotRail is proud to support the Scottish Government’s Young Persons Guarantee and we’re passionate about providing opportunities for young people right across the country.

The rail industry is currently going through one of the largest transformations ever with new routes, new fleet, new stations, new technology and new ways of delivering for our customers. It's an exciting time to join us as you embark on your career.

We're proud to support work experience, placements, internships, apprenticeships, graduates and other programmes aimed at helping young people find the right role for them. We have opportunities available all across Scotland.

These are the programmes that we currently offer:

The first year of the ScotRail Engineering Apprenticeship involves attending college full time, followed by three years of a mix of college and learning on the job in a work location. At the end of the four-year apprenticeship, you will receive a Modern Apprenticeship in Engineering (both mechanical and electrical).

Throughout your apprenticeship you will be fully supported by your mentor and assessor.

Who can apply?

Our apprenticeship courses are open to people aged 16 to 24. Whether you're coming straight from school, further education or are already in employment, all you need to do is make sure you meet the entry requirements.

Location:

Our engineering apprentices are based at our train maintenance depots in Edinburgh, Inverness and Glasgow.

To apply for our Engineering Apprenticeship you need to have, or be currently studying for:

At least 4 Standard Grades level 1-3 including maths, English, a science and one other technical subject.
or

National Grade level 5 including maths, English, a science and one other technical subject.

Hear from one of our current engineering apprentices here.

The ScotRail Customer Service Apprenticeship is an 18-month programme. At the end of the apprenticeship, you would achieve a Customer Service SVQ.

There are lots of different areas of the business that you could complete your apprenticeship in with all training being provided on the job. Specific details of the available role will be outlined on the job advert. Throughout your apprenticeship you will be fully supported by your workplace mentor and assessor.

Who can apply?

Our apprenticeship courses are open to people aged 16 or over. Whether you're coming straight from school, further education or are already in employment, all you need to do is make sure you meet the entry requirements.

To apply for our Customer Service Apprenticeship, you need to have, or be currently studying for:

At least 3 Standard Grades level 1-4 including English and Maths.
or

National Grade level 4 or above including English and Maths.

If you have other relevant work experience and volunteering experience, you should still apply as this will also be taken into consideration.

Please follow our social media channels so you don’t miss out when we advertise our vacancies. You can also register your interest using the 'Make an Enquiry' button at the bottom of the page and we can get in touch when these vacancies are live.

The ScotRail Graduate Scheme is a two year functional programme. During your time on the scheme you are given the opportunity to rotate around at least three different areas of the business, working on projects, gaining new skills and getting to know how the business works.

Throughout the programme you will be fully supported by a mentor and will be offered the chance to complete a leadership qualification.

Announcements will also be made on our social media channels. You can register your interest using the 'Make an Enquiry' button at the bottom of the page and we will get in touch when we have more information available.

We offer an 8-10 week internship in partnership with Entrepreneurial Scotland. This allows you, as a student in your penultimate year at University, to undertake work projects and gain experience working in a business environment.

We usually offer placements during the summer and winter months. Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions we are unable to offer any internships 2021. We hope to be able to offer our internship programme again during the winter. Please follow our social media channels so you don’t miss out on any updates. You can also register your interest using the 'Make an Enquiry' button at the bottom of the page and we will get in touch when we have more information.

*Currently on hold due to COVID restrictions but we are looking at ways to see how we could deliver a programme virtually to support work experience placements*

We offer short work placements for young people to gain an insight into the ScotRail business. The work placement can be part of your school’s work experience week, part of an employability programme, or if you’re simply considering a career with us.

Are you a school/college/university? Or an organisation that works with young people? We are looking to create partnerships to promote career opportunities with ScotRail.

At the time of writing (February 2021) we are actively restructuring what we offer due to COVID restrictions and are looking at how we can deliver this virtually. We would still love to hear from you so please do get in touch if you have a query or would like to know more about working with us. We can save your details and get back in touch with you when things change.

In the past we have visited organisations to deliver presentations, offered workplace visits, insight days and also created bespoke offerings to suit your exact requirements. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch via the enquiry form at the bottom of the page.

Kiya, customer service apprentice standing in Glasgow Central Station

Kiya, Customer Service Apprentice: “I’m a practical person, so it was such a huge benefit for me to learn on the job”.

Daniel, customer service apprentice standing in Glasgow Central station

Daniel, Customer Service Apprentice: “I was working part-time, trying to decide what to do with my life. When I realised ScotRail offered apprenticeships, I knew I had to apply”.

Lewis, customer service apprentice standing in Glasgow Central station

Lewis, Customer Service Apprentice: “At school, I thought the only option was to go straight to university but getting an apprenticeship somewhere like ScotRail is an amazing way to grow and further yourself”.

Billie, customer service apprentice standing in Glasgow Central station

Billie, Customer Service Apprentice: “It’s been great to meet so many people from across the business. I’ve gained so much more self-confidence”.

Carmen, customer service apprentice standing in Glasgow Central station

Carmen, Customer Service Apprentice: “I’m a practical, hand on person, so the idea of uni totally freaked me out. I knew that learning on the job was a much better option for me”.

Robbie, engineering apprentice standing infront of a ScotRail train

Robbie, Engineering Apprentice: "I applied for the ScotRail apprenticeship as I've always been interested in the railway and how it works. I explored lots of other apprenticeships, but none appealed to me as much as ScotRail. Every day is different and I'm always learning. I would tell anyone to jump at the chance of joining an apprenticeship scheme. The chance to learn, work, and gamin experience is not one to be missed."

Fancy hearing more? Read what Shannon, our engineering apprentice, has to say over on our blog.
Read blog now

Where are they now?

An apprenticeship in the railway opens up many doors for young people, leading to successful lifelong careers. We recently chatted to a few members of our team who started their career as an apprentice. To hear what they've got to say about their experiences, head over to our blog.

Read 'Our apprentices - where are they now' blog

FAQs

Hopefully you'll find all of the information you need to know on this page. If you have any more questions, please do contact the Early Careers team using the enquiry form at the bottom of the page.

Our apprenticeships are open to people aged 16 or over, giving trainees a chance to earn as they learn. This means working towards a recognised qualification and skilled employment with greater career prospects.

Whether you're coming straight from school, further education or are already in employment, all you need to do is make sure you meet the entry requirements.

Depending on which apprenticeship and level of qualification you choose, your apprenticeship can take between one and four years to complete. Our customer service apprenticeship takes 18 months and our Engineering apprenticeship is 4 years. During this time, you'll be working and gaining invaluable experience, doing what you love.

Each process is slightly different depending on which apprenticeship you apply for. In the first instance your application will be reviewed by a member of our recruitment team to check your qualifications meet our entry requirements. If so, we will then be in touch to ask you to complete an online literacy and numeracy test.

After that, for Engineering you will be invited to attend a mechanical comprehension test then an interview. For Customer Service you will be invited to attend a selection day where you will be interviewed on the same day.

Please note the above is subject to change due to COVID restrictions.

Yes. You’ll be an employee of ScotRail and your contract of employment will set out the number of hours in your working week. You may need to spend time at a college but this is part of your role and working week so you are paid as normal for this.

Our application process can take between eight to ten weeks due to the volume of applications we receive. We also have to carry out testing and security checks.

Throughout your apprenticeship you will be fully supported by your assessor, mentor, line manager and our Early Careers Manager.


Make an enquiry

If you’d like to find out how to partner with us on early careers initiatives, please fill in the enquiry form below.

Make an enquiry