An aspiring rail engineer has told how his @CollegeNELondon #apprenticeship has helped him manage his #dyspraxia. 

Chris Redshaw is undertaking an apprenticeship with engineering giant Bombardier at the London Rail Academy based at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).

The 19-year-old, from Sittingbourne, Kent, was diagnosed with dyspraxia, a neurological condition that affects physical co-ordination and social skills, when he was at secondary school.

“My training has actually helped me to overcome and manage it,” said Chris, when asked about how dyspraxia had impacted on his apprenticeship.

“When I first started my apprenticeship, I would take longer than others to do things and perform certain tasks. I had trouble keeping up and would often fall behind. At CONEL and at Bombardier I have always felt supported and my timekeeping and organisation has improved significantly.”

Chris’s enthusiasm for trains and railways goes back to when he was a young boy, and in his early teens he began volunteering on the East Kent Railway Trust heritage railway.

He said: “I have always I wanted to pursue a career in rail. Railways are very complex and it has always fascinated me at how it all works together. My voluntary work on the East Kent Railway also inspired me. I got to see first-hand what it takes to keep trains running.”

Chris completed a Rail Engineering Level 2 Apprenticeship with Bombardier and now works for the company as Maintenance Assistant while undertaking a Level 3 apprenticeship.

He was named the National Training Academy for Rail’s Apprentice of the Year in 2018 and has been an ambassador for Young Rail Professionals for the past three and a half years.

Chris said: “I have learnt so much at Bombardier – how trains, depots and railways operate, how to perform safety work, plan maintenance, carry out inspections, find faults and exchange components.

“CONEL has all the tools, equipment and materials you need. They have parts and components from real trains like bogies and engines to take apart and reassemble, and the tutors are always there if any help is needed.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has not derailed Chris’s appetite for learning and a career in rail engineering.

He said: “Learning in lockdown has been challenging. I would much rather be in college, but learning through classes on Microsoft Teams has been good and not too different.”

Chris is a huge advocate for apprenticeships as a way into work and the benefit of being employed by a company and earning money while gaining skills.

“Rail is a great industry to work in. Trains will always need to be maintained and kept running so the industry will always need new talent,” he said.

“Even if you have no previous engineering experience, you can learn the required skills on an apprenticeship. Unlike university you are being paid to learn, not paying to learn.

“I applied for my apprenticeship as soon as I left school and it was the best decision I ever made.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Peter has published a new article: EDHEC and EURECOM Sign Strategic Alliance 39 minutes ago
FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 19 hours 44 minutes ago

Women Empowerment: How Far Have We Come in Recent Years?: Here in the UK, the past year has been difficult for ever…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page