A career as a signaller

Allaboard78

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16 Dec 2019
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Wales
The hiring manager only sees the score for the 70 questions. All we know about the SHL tests is whether the candidates have reached the benchmark or not. I do not know what the benchmark is.

Yes.

No signallers will be furloughed even with a reduced service in operation. Some areas are really struggling for signalling staff availability and are already using contingency measures. Other areas are doing ok for now.
Thank you for your reply
 
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Littlestu

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27 Aug 2018
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I'd be interested to know this too!! Do you know if you can ask for those scores?
I was told i could email and ask for them but they stay on file for 6 mobths at which point i can email asking them.to wipe them so i can retake it on the next application. Will letyoi know what results i get back and what they send
 

MrsP2010

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31 Mar 2020
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Ellesmere
For those currently working as Signallers I'm curious as to what impact the virus situation has had on your day to day jobs. For example, is there enough work to keep people in jobs? I ask because my sister works in Air Traffic Control where staff are now being furlouged and I wonder if this is likely to happen to Signallers too?
My husband is a signaller and works a doubled manned box on a mix of 12 and 8 hr shifts. They've just stopped double manning and those on 8 hr shifts don't go into work, those on 12 hrs do. No difference in salary though, he's being paid as if he was there, thank goodness!
 

ILoveLamp

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22 Nov 2019
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My husband is a signaller and works a doubled manned box on a mix of 12 and 8 hr shifts. They've just stopped double manning and those on 8 hr shifts don't go into work, those on 12 hrs do. No difference in salary though, he's being paid as if he was there, thank goodness!
I bet the 12 guys are happy with that!
 

ILoveLamp

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Well it's swings and roundabouts - they all do 12 and 8 hrs. Hubby's off at the moment but has just finished a week of 12 hrs
Ahh.. it sounded like their was a group expected to work (12 hr guys) and a group paid to be off, rather than the same guys doing a random mix of shifts. So it sounds like they will likely all get round to an 8hr shift where they will be off.
 

MrsP2010

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31 Mar 2020
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Ellesmere
Ahh.. it sounded like their was a group expected to work (12 hr guys) and a group paid to be off, rather than the same guys doing a random mix of shifts. So it sounds like they will likely all get round to an 8hr shift where they will be off.
Exactly right. Their shifts are made up of 2 x 12 hr shifts 06-1800 and 18-0600 each day and then 2 x shifts 06-1400 and 14-2200. It's the latter 2 that will be off.
 

ILoveLamp

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Exactly right. Their shifts are made up of 2 x 12 hr shifts 06-1800 and 18-0600 each day and then 2 x shifts 06-1400 and 14-2200. It's the latter 2 that will be off.
when in normal working conditions, with the hours they do each, week I presume they are given time off in lieu of the extra hours they do?
 

MrsP2010

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when in normal working conditions, with the hours they do each, week I presume they are given time off in lieu of the extra hours they do?
They don't do those hours every day!! He has lots of days off including 6 days on the trot at one part of his roster. He only does extra hours when doing a voluntary overtime shift for which he gets paid. He's on a 7 week roster
 

Peterperfect

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5 Apr 2018
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79
I'd be interested to know this too!! Do you know if you can ask for those scores?
The shl tests are only used for one thing. To reduce the applicants down to a manageable level.

Think of it like this under normal circumstances you would think 50% is a pass mark. Whatever NWR has set as the minimum bar that is the pass mark. You do the tests and you get told you have met the standards for maths, English and situational judgment tests. Great you think. But what of 95% of the applicants have all met the standard.

HR then take the top 10-20 and whittle that down to enough for the hiring manager to decide who is getting interviewed.

So you need to pass the shl tests well.
You need to answer as many of the 70 questions with yes to get points.
You need a good CV.

Then you need a good interview.

There is no easy way round it unfortunately.

Then if your really lucky you get a start but dont think that's it finished. You will be in for a hard 12 weeks where you will be tested to learn and prove you can retain that knowledge and display you can practically do the job.

Even after signaller school it doesnt stop there. Yiu will have to complete training for your box, finish your apprenticeship, go to briefing days where you will be asked rules questions and also do the online assessment tests. They tests even require experienced signallers to bring out the rule books.

If any of that puts you off good because it will save you a lot of grief if left a good job and you got to signaller school and found out you didnt have what it takes and were cut loose.
 

Tom Quinne

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8 Jul 2017
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For those currently working as Signallers I'm curious as to what impact the virus situation has had on your day to day jobs. For example, is there enough work to keep people in jobs? I ask because my sister works in Air Traffic Control where staff are now being furlouged and I wonder if this is likely to happen to Signallers too?
At our place those who are spare are told to stay at home - effectively on call, so be ready to come to work within your hours.

We’re all “swobbing down” as we call it before changing workstations to do our best not to swap germs and the like.

Those of us in the at risk groups are paid off until the virus is over.

Being in a strong unionised industry no one is being laid off or on 80% pay.
 

ArchangelA

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4 Feb 2020
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I was told i could email and ask for them but they stay on file for 6 mobths at which point i can email asking them.to wipe them so i can retake it on the next application. Will letyoi know what results i get back and what they send
If any of the three SHL tests are passed, then Network Rail won't require you to sit that test within 12 months should you apply for another signaller job as they will use your previous test-passed score. If you fail any of the three tests however, you cannot re-sit that test for 6 months.
So you need to wait at least six months to re-apply and re-sit the tests that you haven't already passed, only.
 

Sanatogen

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27 Feb 2013
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We got one that states it kills Covid19 amongst other things, very odd given none of these firms have been able to test against it yet afaik.

I suspect it’s effective against regular coronaviruses and as such allows them to make the claim they do.

I’m sticking to regular hand washing and using my own sanitiser as a last resort.

edit; I should add the company supplied one is again alcohol free.
 
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nom de guerre

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Any such claims specifically mentioning Covid-19 must be extremely suspect.

Does this lot at least contain min 60% alcohol ?

I’m off for a few days and our route procurement contacts are claiming some half-decent stuff has finally arrived. Not holding my breath...
 

Tom Quinne

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We got one that states it kills Covid19 amongst other things, very odd given none of these firms have been able to test against it yet afaik.

I suspect it’s effective against regular coronaviruses and as such allows them to make the claim they do.

I’m sticking to regular hand washing and using my own sanitiser as a last resort.

edit; I should add the company supplied one is again alcohol free.
Same here, my Mrs is in the high risk group so I’m showering as soon as I get in at home, and doing half hourly surgeon style hand scrubbing lol I look stupid but hey ho!
 

Sanatogen

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Any such claims specifically mentioning Covid-19 must be extremely suspect.

Does this lot at least contain min 60% alcohol ?

I’m off for a few days and our route procurement contacts are claiming some half-decent stuff has finally arrived. Not holding my breath...
no but it does contain electrically modified water.
 
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Littlestu

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27 Aug 2018
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So i emailed recruitment support for test feedback. I got email telling me the scores i had achieved in the 3 tests and also the benchmark score which i presume differs for what grade you have gone for, and also if i email them again in 6 months time they will wipe the scores enabling me to sit the test again.
 

railwanabe

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15 Mar 2020
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Definitely not an issue. I have guys who started off the street in their late 50s. You can continue to work as long as you keep passing the medicals.
funny that, when I asked hr for a feedback as to why I didn’t get shortlisted for an interview, they told me more suitable candidates with relevant experience have been selected. Is that work experience on a certain field as that’s not mentioned in job description? Or any work/life experience where you can show you have the non-technical skills? Maybe I didn’t make it apparent enough in my CV and application, I will do next time before thinking about .. discrimination.
 

Rockhopper

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Its worth noting that this is a very well known forum at all levels of NR, TOC's etc. Many hiring managers are members, in fact one or two have put their heads above the parapet in this very thread.
Its not rocket science to match up a members profile and postings on here with an actual job application and when their only interest in the job seems to be how much money they can earn than can be enough to exclude you from the process.
HR saying that a more suitable candidate was identified is a non committal response that covers a multitude of reasons as to why an application wasn't progressed.
 

Javagem

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18 Feb 2020
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York
What was the benchmark score they told you? I was told 31% for all three tests and that was a grade 9.
I’m not sure but I think the 31 refers to 31/40 for the SJT as the maths and reasoning tests were scored as percentiles. 31st percentile is a pretty low bar for such a role IMO - I could be wrong though.
 
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Tom Quinne

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Its worth noting that this is a very well known forum at all levels of NR, TOC's etc. Many hiring managers are members, in fact one or two have put their heads above the parapet in this very thread.
Its not rocket science to match up a members profile and postings on here with an actual job application and when their only interest in the job seems to be how much money they can earn than can be enough to exclude you from the process.
HR saying that a more suitable candidate was identified is a non committal response that covers a multitude of reasons as to why an application wasn't progressed.
Indeed....many will remember a time when railway pay was poor, we still joined up though.

How many would still chase with such vigour a signaller job with a salary of £20k or a drivers job of 30k?
 
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Kraken

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22 Mar 2020
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Lincolnshire
Indeed....many will remember a time when railway pay was *iss poor, we still joined up though.

How many would still chase with such vigour a signaller job with a salary of £20k or a drivers job of 30k?
I think to be fair that a lot of people become interested in Signalling as a second career, when the salary becomes a much more important factor. Should I be successful in my applications I would be voluntarily leaving a job with a certain salary which allows me to pay my mortgage and support my family. This salary is a reasonable, but not silly, amount in excess of £20k a year.

So no, I would not take a job as a signaller for £20k a year. That’s not because I’m not interested in signalling itself (on the contrary, it sounds like exactly my sort of job and everything I’ve heard makes me more excited for it. I would certainly have made different choices had I known about it earlier in the my career), it’s because I couldn’t continue to support my family on this amount of money without uprooting everyone. I’m sure a good proportion of applicants are in the same boat and when they ask on here about money are trying to figure out whether they could afford to make this career change at various grades - rather than only being in it for the money.
 

High Dyke

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...I’m off for a few days and our route procurement contacts are claiming some half-decent stuff has finally arrived. Not holding my breath...
My area has now had some delivered, but in bulk. The first delivery was a swarfega type handwash...totally unsuitable, according to my manager. Hopefully, supplies will be distributed soon enough to individuals. Ths wife had her TOC employer provide sanitiser two weeks ago.
 

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