A career as a signaller

cowboysfan

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I've noticed that they're leaning more toward recruiting for talent pools now on a FTC where you're expected to apply for a job before the FTC expires. Or is it me?
This is how I was recruited on FTC and trained and had to find a perm role. I got quite lucky a LOM give me a chance working a box for experience(other people in my cohort still have no experience almost 12months on). It's interesting how they do the talent pool thing as in the Eastern region they were 12month FTC but in North West they are perm contracts makes no sense. Being on that FTC does leave you with abit of uncertainty, luckily I managed to get a perm role recently.
 
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Alex95

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This is how I was recruited on FTC and trained and had to find a perm role. I got quite lucky a LOM give me a chance working a box for experience(other people in my cohort still have no experience almost 12months on). It's interesting how they do the talent pool thing as in the Eastern region they were 12month FTC but in North West they are perm contracts makes no sense. Being on that FTC does leave you with abit of uncertainty, luckily I managed to get a perm role recently.

Are all the new posts like this? I applied for a job at a specific location - no mention of it being a traineeship (it is a grade 2). But the operator on the phone told me that everybody attends signalling school now, then your box is assigned.

Does this mean no job is guaranteed after the training? Do you get paid whilst you wait for vacancies? It feels odd to be leaving a secure job for no guarantee?
 

H24

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Guys, I have been sent a contract for the signaller role and I have not seen any 12 months commitment requirement written within the terms. Therefore, surely, this “unwritten” rule can not be enforced or it will lead to grievances being submitted against the LOCs.
 

cowboysfan

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Are all the new posts like this? I applied for a job at a specific location - no mention of it being a traineeship (it is a grade 2). But the operator on the phone told me that everybody attends signalling school now, then your box is assigned.

Does this mean no job is guaranteed after the training? Do you get paid whilst you wait for vacancies? It feels odd to be leaving a secure job for no guarantee?
All new posts are not all like this as far as I'm aware. I joined basically as a contingent signaller when COVID hit, you do get paid while you are waiting for a vacancy. While I never came to the end of my fixed term the general consensus was why would they spend all the money training you just to be let go.
 

fatlad68

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Guys, I have been sent a contract for the signaller role and I have not seen any 12 months commitment requirement written within the terms. Therefore, surely, this “unwritten” rule can not be enforced or it will lead to grievances being submitted against the LOCs.

To be fair if you are in Manchester and have agreed to relocate to your offered job in TVSC it is hardly unreasonable that they want you to remain for a minimum of 12 months. There have been so many in the past who promise to relocate to get the job, time and money is spent training them then they just leave when they have access to the internal list and find something closer to where they come from originally. To be honest if you are coming straight off the street into a.grade 9 job it will take 9 - 12 months to pass out anyway. Why take a job so far away if it is already in your mind that you don't really want that location and want to be able to move as quick as you can? Fire in a grievance if you want but I doubt it will go anywhere, it's worrying to see you thinking this way before you even start the job.
 

H24

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To be fair if you are in Manchester and have agreed to relocate to your offered job in TVSC it is hardly unreasonable that they want you to remain for a minimum of 12 months. There have been so many in the past who promise to relocate to get the job, time and money is spent training them then they just leave when they have access to the internal list and find something closer to where they come from originally. To be honest if you are coming straight off the street into a.grade 9 job it will take 9 - 12 months to pass out anyway. Why take a job so far away if it is already in your mind that you don't really want that location and want to be able to move as quick as you can? Fire in a grievance if you want but I doubt it will go anywhere, it's worrying to see you thinking this way before you even start the job.

With all due respect, that is why employment contracts are made. The contract sets out commitments as an employer and an employee. It is perfectly normal for employees to seek locations that fit their own personal circumstances.

Secondly, there is no reason for you to worry or come to any conclusions. Having worked in various industries over the years, I would expect grievances if there are differences in the interpretation of “commitment” between an employee and their manager. Especially when it is not written in the employment contract.
 

ArchangelA

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Just hoe easy is it to transfer internally, or apply for another job as signaller? Do NEW make signaller go through all the testing and interview/ medical again?
 
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lineclear

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With all due respect, that is why employment contracts are made. The contract sets out commitments as an employer and an employee. It is perfectly normal for employees to seek locations that fit their own personal circumstances.

Secondly, there is no reason for you to worry or come to any conclusions. Having worked in various industries over the years, I would expect grievances if there are differences in the interpretation of “commitment” between an employee and their manager. Especially when it is not written in the employment contract.
Although not directly relevant here, you should note that there is more to your entitlements (and responsibilities) than your employment contract. Get hold of a copy of the NRP (National Rostering Principles) and PTR&R (Promotion, Transfer, Redundancy and Redeployment) to start with if you're interested, and speak to your union rep.

Regarding this 'one year rule' that occasionally gets mentioned here, I doubt that there's anything written down about it. However, when you have applied for a promotion and then been appointed to the role, your current LOM has no obligation to immediately release you, and almost certainly won't. If you haven't been released three months after the closing date for applications for your new role, your are entitled to (and should) claim your new grade from that date.

ArchangelA said:
Just hoe easy is it to transfer internally, or apply for another job as signaller? Do NEW make signaller go through all the testing and interview/ medical again?
You find a job and apply for it (including your CV and answering the application questions). The top few applicants (which may be all of them if not many people applied) will be invited to interview. The role will be offered to the person with the highest interview score.
 

ArchangelA

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Although not directly relevant here, you should note that there is more to your entitlements (and responsibilities) than your employment contract. Get hold of a copy of the NRP (National Rostering Principles) and PTR&R (Promotion, Transfer, Redundancy and Redeployment) to start with if you're interested, and speak to your union rep.

Regarding this 'one year rule' that occasionally gets mentioned here, I doubt that there's anything written down about it. However, when you have applied for a promotion and then been appointed to the role, your current LOM has no obligation to immediately release you, and almost certainly won't. If you haven't been released three months after the closing date for applications for your new role, your are entitled to (and should) claim your new grade from that date.


You find a job and apply for it (including your CV and answering the application questions). The top few applicants (which may be all of them if not many people applied) will be invited to interview. The role will be offered to the person with the highest interview score.
Thank for the reply
 

Highlandspring

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H24

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Although not directly relevant here, you should note that there is more to your entitlements (and responsibilities) than your employment contract. Get hold of a copy of the NRP (National Rostering Principles) and PTR&R (Promotion, Transfer, Redundancy and Redeployment) to start with if you're interested, and speak to your union rep.

Regarding this 'one year rule' that occasionally gets mentioned here, I doubt that there's anything written down about it. However, when you have applied for a promotion and then been appointed to the role, your current LOM has no obligation to immediately release you, and almost certainly won't. If you haven't been released three months after the closing date for applications for your new role, your are entitled to (and should) claim your new grade from that date.


You find a job and apply for it (including your CV and answering the application questions). The top few applicants (which may be all of them if not many people applied) will be invited to interview. The role will be offered to the person with the highest interview score.

Thanks for the advice.
 

fatlad68

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Lineclear is spot on there is much more to your conditions of service than are written in the contract, you will find that there are specific agreements between the RMT and NR on an are and local level as well.

The contract they give you is a generic one that will cover you for as long as you remain with NR unless you make the higher echelons of management and get a personal contract. You will not get a new contract for each promotion or change of location.

Just be aware that they are in no rush to release anyone who wants to move back home after promising a commitment to relocate just to get in the door. We are so short you normally have to wait for them to recruit and train a replacement which can be 12 months in itself. I know one bloke who waited 2 years as the trainees they kept recruiting kept leaving before they had passed out. This is why they now want a 12 month commitment.

I can understand why people do it but it is bloody annoying as a signaller having to waste time and effort training people we know are just going to jump ship at the earliest opportunity.
 

Highlandspring

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Just be aware that they are in no rush to release anyone who wants to move back home after promising a commitment to relocate just to get in the door. We are so short you normally have to wait for them to recruit and train a replacement which can be 12 months in itself. I know one bloke who waited 2 years as the trainees they kept recruiting kept leaving before they had passed out. This is why they now want a 12 month commitment.

I can understand why people do it but it is bloody annoying as a signaller having to waste time and effort training people we know are just going to jump ship at the earliest opportunity.

Amen brother!
 

headshot119

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If you haven't been released three months after the closing date for applications for your new role, your are entitled to (and should) claim your new grade from that date.

I'll just correct this here, the rule is 13 weeks from the date the job is advertised. This was agreed nationally with the RMT around 2 years ago.
 

wingnut1982

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£60k ish depending on shift pattern
(Includes rostered sundays)

allowances also depend on how close to London you are and if you qualify for inner/outer London supplement etc
Do you get paid the shift allowances prior to being ‘passed out’ but just at the grade below?
 
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Do you get paid the shift allowances prior to being ‘passed out’ but just at the grade below?
Shift allowances are basically overtime, nights or Sundays, so unless you have to do some specific training overnight or on a Sunday - unlikely but possible, maybe to see a few possessions for example - then no, just basic pay at a grade below.
 

wingnut1982

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Shift allowances are basically overtime, nights or Sundays, so unless you have to do some specific training overnight or on a Sunday - unlikely but possible, maybe to see a few possessions for example - then no, just basic pay at a grade below.
So you don’t work any Sundays or nights once you’ve passed out of Signal School until you’ve been signed off as competent to work on your own?
 

Highlandspring

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So you don’t work any Sundays or nights once you’ve passed out of Signal School until you’ve been signed off as competent to work on your own?
It depends on what the local management want, generally most will areas will want a trainee to do a spell of nights at the least before passing out. Once you're finished school the in-box training is all locally run and there is no national standard for it.
 

wingnut1982

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It depends on what the local management want, generally most will areas will want a trainee to do a spell of nights at the least before passing out. Once you're finished school the in-box training is all locally run and there is no national standard for it.
Ah ok, thanks, that makes sense
 

Densetsu

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For the Victoria Signaller role, it says you must live within 90 minutes drive, is this accurate?
 

Horizon22

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For the Victoria Signaller role, it says you must live within 90 minutes drive, is this accurate?

What do you mean by "accurate"? If that's what the advert says, that's what it will be.
 

Densetsu

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What do you mean by "accurate"? If that's what the advert says, that's what it will be.

You'd think that, and so I applied. Then I got a call saying I live "just outside an hour's drive" (1hr 05m away), but I applied on the basis it said 90 minutes...so it kind of got shrugged off because I couldn't relocate, now I am confused. I don't know if it was an oversight, or what. Just curious if 90mins was the norm for signallers.

Off-topic but they're moving to Crawley in 2022 which is less than 60min from me, but that did little good to persuade them...gutted.
 

Horizon22

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You'd think that, and so I applied. Then I got a call saying I live "just outside an hour's drive" (1hr 05m away), but I applied on the basis it said 90 minutes...so it kind of got shrugged off because I couldn't relocate, now I am confused. I don't know if it was an oversight, or what. Just curious if 90mins was the norm for signallers.

Off-topic but they're moving to Crawley in 2022 which is less than 60min from me, but that did little good to persuade them...gutted.

Ah I see, that's a shame. On first glance I did find it odd as the norm tends to be 60 minutes but normally you'd hope the advert was correct.
 

Densetsu

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Ah I see, that's a shame. On first glance I did find it odd as the norm tends to be 60 minutes but normally you'd hope the advert was correct.

Appreciate the replies all the same, just found it weird. I've never known that sort of typo(?) to appear, as the whole "60min safety critical" spiel can easily be copy-pasted across the job descriptions, so I wondered if the HR/recruiter was perhaps mistaken or that there was a different policy for Victoria ROC. Such is the way, I suppose.
 

ArchangelA

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What do you mean by "accurate"? If that's what the advert says, that's what it will be.
In my experience some mistakes are being made at the moment by HR. Job I applied for not so long back stated 12 months FTC when in fact it should've been 2 yrs FTC (got the info from the horses mouth). The NR fatigue management policy is that new staff shouldn't live anymore than 60 mins away. Another job was posted externally and took down the same day (they put the wrong location down so had to withdraw the vacancy sharpish). We all human and make mistakes lol.
Same happened to me. I lived 1hr 5 mins away-even after the Hiring Manager advised me (because I work with him) to apply for a job and it wouldn't matter being "just over the 60 mins". HR soon put paid to that! Phoned me and asked if I was planning on relocating. Told them "no" so they withdrew my application.

This is how I was recruited on FTC and trained and had to find a perm role. I got quite lucky a LOM give me a chance working a box for experience(other people in my cohort still have no experience almost 12months on). It's interesting how they do the talent pool thing as in the Eastern region they were 12month FTC but in North West they are perm contracts makes no sense. Being on that FTC does leave you with abit of uncertainty, luckily I managed to get a perm role recently.
Was it 12 m FTC or 2yrs they recruited you on? How the rest of your cohort get on? did they get jobs?
 

Densetsu

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In my experience some mistakes are being made at the moment by HR. Job I applied for not so long back stated 12 months FTC when in fact it should've been 2 yrs FTC (got the info from the horses mouth). The NR fatigue management policy is that new staff shouldn't live anymore than 60 mins away. Another job was posted externally and took down the same day (they put the wrong location down so had to withdraw the vacancy sharpish). We all human and make mistakes lol.
Same happened to me. I lived 1hr 5 mins away-even after the Hiring Manager advised me (because I work with him) to apply for a job and it wouldn't matter being "just over the 60 mins". HR soon put paid to that! Phoned me and asked if I was planning on relocating. Told them "no" so they withdrew my application.

Coming from a background with a ton of rules and policies around security, etc. I do understand the inflexibility of it being dead-on 60 minutes. As gutting as it is to be 5 minutes out! It's just the 90 minutes bit that rubbed me up the wrong way - as an outsider/layman to the rail industry I was really looking forward to it as a new long-term venture. A lot of my previous role would have meshed perfectly with their requirements. Not to mention the wacking-great pay to go with it. Anyway that's just me whinging.

But you're right, they're only human. If the rules say 60, then, 60 it is.
 

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