National Apprenticeship Week 2024

5-11 February 2024 was National Apprenticeship Week - a time when the education and skills sector get the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of apprentices around the country and the positive impact they make to communities, businesses, and the wider economy. The theme for this year was “Skills for Life”.

The Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) is close to reaching the halfway mark of its ambitious aim to take on 590 apprentices across the rail upgrade between Manchester and York, via Leeds and Huddersfield.

The number of apprentices on the multi-billion-pound programme has reached 264, primarily recruited from locations along the route and amounting to £14.3 million in value to society, according to the Rail Social Value Tool.

Rail Social Value Tool

Apprentices are working in various disciplines across TRU, including Civil Engineering, Project Management, Quantity Surveying and Ecology. Many TRU apprentices have university degrees built into their apprenticeships, taking one or two days a week off work to study.

“Providing opportunities through apprenticeships is at the heart of the TRU story. A railway fit for the North of England is being built by the communities through which TRU travels.

Our nearly 590 apprentices are key to the TRU programme and reaching the halfway point of our ambitious apprenticeship intake underlines our commitment to developing skills and employment prospects for TRU communities.”
Neil Holm, TRU Managing Director

Why choose an apprenticeship with TRU?

Our apprentices on TRU have identified the cost of living crisis, tuition fee debt, career prospects and enhanced hands-on learning as reasons for choosing apprenticeships, but lets hear from them in their own words…

Current Apprentices:

“Someone I know went to a good university and got a first-class honours degree in architecture, but couldn’t get a job due to a lack of experience. I didn’t want that to happen, I wanted to work in what I’ve chosen to do. That was the main deciding factor in choosing an apprenticeship for me.

There's a miscomprehension that you get paid very little to be someone’s printing assistant, getting told what to do. But the truth is that companies like TRU put time and effort into developing you as an apprentice.”
Christopher, TRU Commercial Apprentice

“One of the reasons I chose an apprenticeship was to pay my parents a bit of rent. We’re a family of five and it's quite hard. There are people my age who at 18, 19, 20 want to support their parents while times are tough.

I have developed my communication and leadership skills and learned the art of dealing with challenging behaviours during my apprenticeship with TRU.

But the part I have enjoyed the most is the networking; speaking with people from across such a large project every day has allowed me to learn so much.”
Ellis, TRU Project Management Apprentice

Past Apprentices:


Future Apprentices:

A Day In The Life of a TRU Apprentice

Follow Brooke and Jacob, two current TRU Apprentices, as they take us through their interesting and varied days…


TRU is creating tens of thousands of jobs both directly and indirectly, including 8,000 new and safeguarded roles, with 60% of the construction workforce employed from within 25 miles of the route and 80% within 40 miles.

TRU is also set to deliver a minimum 50p value to society for every £1 spent on construction, generating £4.28 billion of social value, as outlined in the TRU Sustainability Strategy ‘Our Guiding Compass’ which was published last Summer:



  View Our Guiding Compass – TRU Sustainable Development Strategy here