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On the job training

Most engineering employers offer graduate training schemes today. These typically involve rotations between different parts of the business over a two or three year period. If you have a particular sector or industry in mind, investigate what the different employers offer - this can vary widely in terms of experience and even pay.

For example, Sellafield Limited has openings in its design engineering department for mechanical, control, electrical, instrumentation, civil, structural and chemical engineering graduates. Its Fusion graduate programme (www.sellafieldfusion.co.uk) runs over two years and is designed to give you a thorough grounding in the company’s activities. Fusion has professional accreditation at its very heart and you will be appointed a mentor on arrival. This person then supports you right through to chartered status.

In terms of salary, Sellafield offers £25,000, plus a £1500 golden hello to get you started. A further £2000 interest free loan is also available should you require it, plus an annual bonus that can be up to £2250.

Network Rail (www.networkrailgraduates.co.uk) is looking for graduates with ICE, IET or IMechE-accredited engineering degrees.

The company offers a starting salary of £24,000 (more in London), £1000 extra for an MEng degree, a one-off welcome bonus of £3000, interest-free season ticket loan and 60% discount on season tickets up to a maximum of £2850.

Its structured, accredited engineering programmes offer a mixture of personal skills training, technical training and work based placements giving you hands-on railway
experience. You can expect to have a mentor (a senior engineer) and a buddy and you’ll combine on-the-job training with specialist courses and secondments, leading
to chartered status and a hands-on managerial role.