Advice for potential drivers.

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by brend89, 28 Apr 2015.

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  1. brend89

    brend89 New Member

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    Hi I'm currently in the army and in the process of handing in my notice, with a view to becoming a train driver when I leave. I have read up a lot on the recruitment process and seen it seems quite rigorous. Was wondering if any one could give me any pointers as to what I could be doing over the next year (which is how much notice I have to give) to help prepare myself. Will also have time and funds to do courses so if there's any particular qualifications that they look favourable on I would be interested to know aswell. Sorry if there is similar posts elsewhere on the site I did have a look but couldn't see anything.

    Thanks!
     
  2. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    The recruitment process can be very lengthy and competitive with thousands of applicants applying - often 400 plus for each vacancy. Would you consider applying for other jobs to get on the railway such as conductor (ticket inspector) or platform staff ?
     
  3. brend89

    brend89 New Member

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    Yes this is what I heard :/ I would do as a route to becoming a driver, wasn't sure how much recruitment was internal. Just figured that with so much time to prepare I should have as good a chance as anyone.
     
  4. MartinG

    MartinG Member

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    "conductor (ticket inspector)" ????!!!!!!
     
  5. oxoneil

    oxoneil Member

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    From my experience they are without doubt looking for you to give evidence of real life situations where you've worked alone for prolonged periods, dealt with an emergency, made a decision off your own back, been able to stick to rules and procedures. I don't think any course will help you with this.
     
  6. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    Well they do two jobs?
     
  7. mr double 77

    mr double 77 Member

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    I'm currently in training as a main line driver with DBS, I started in October and am currently doing my train handling hours and am not too far away from finishing and becoming fully qualified
     
  8. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    Change their ways ? How do you mean ?
     
  9. red2005

    red2005 Member

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    just passed out of driver training myself and as someone said earlier there aren't too many courses out there that will help you with the recruitment process if i am totally honest!

    operational grades within the railway are more about past experiences and common sense than qualifications from what i have found!....... they'd rather a good employee with no grades, common sense and a good approach to health and safety than a complete tool with all sorts of qualifications and letters after their name!

    best advice i can give is do your research on the grade and the industry and make sure your application techniques are top notch! as someone said earlier i'd also be looking at other avenues to the grade if it will help you! safety critical roles such as guards and despatchers are always looked upon favourably as they work to a lot of the same rules and regs as that of a driver!

    Good luck
     
  10. jonthetaxi

    jonthetaxi Member

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    I'm only going through the process of applying for jobs now and have got an assessment day coming up so it may not be particularly good advice.
    If I had more time (and you have) I would get some type of Health and Safety certificate. I don't know if the armed forces still have some sort of training help for when your transitioning to civvy street but if I was you I would get on every course they do which has a health and safety aspect. From my understanding if you've got that on your CV it makes it more attractive to them, also it show's you can study and learn new things which won't do you no harm in the interview stage.
     
  11. 387star

    387star Established Member

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    Advice would be prepare to pass everything on your first attempt I did so you can


    Prepare then to wait and wait and wait whilst you wonder if your application will be progressed... The dreaded talent pool . or reserve list or on hold status
     
  12. kelv

    kelv Member

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    I'm finding that getting past the initial application stage is quite difficult, I have decent qualifications and work experience, I have good references etc but I've obviously not been supplying the answers they want to hear in the application form questions.
    It's the first time in a while that I've been having to do all of this, which I'd imagine will be the case for yourself as well, and the way that companies recruit nowadays is way different to last time I was doing it all, I attended an interview not long ago for a manufacturing technician and out of 7 of us I had the most relevant work experience & they told me scored highest in their tests, but when it came to the interviews I didn't come up with the right answers.... which weren't particularly work based or mechanical based either, more about working in a team. I did say at the start of the interview that it was my 1st one in about 17 years & I didn't really know what to expect as back then they looked at your c.v. and had a look to see if your previous experience was suited to the job.
    There's brilliant advice on here for most stages of the application processes once you get past the 1st stage though.

    I know it keeps getting said that X amount apply for every trainee driver job but does anyone have any idea how many are said to apply for conductor positions ?
     
  13. 387star

    387star Established Member

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    Keep your application brief concise no waffle every word counts use similar language to the job advert

    As for conductors you would probably be shocked how many apply in the present climate


    Sorry but things haven't changed since 2008 in my book...
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2015
  14. W230

    W230 Established Member

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    People with an armed forces background are generally well sought after by TOCs. Get applying sooner rather than later and be aware that the majority of the jobs come up in London and the south east. If you limit where you are prepared to live then you limit your exposure to jobs.

    I wouldn't waste money on courses. You will have the experience required to pass the MMI. Do some research on the other tests but firstly get applying!

    Good luck! :lol:
     
  15. brend89

    brend89 New Member

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  16. stevefromdonny

    stevefromdonny Member

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    As others have eluded to it could be years before you even get past a first sift. I applied for northern rail on 9th December and still haven't heard a yes/no yet!
     
  17. Jim88

    Jim88 Member

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    Maybe try and get some HGV training and some significant experience to go with it on your cv? Or PCV and get some coach work when you can?
     
  18. oxoneil

    oxoneil Member

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    Yep, you need to apply now, I applied in Nov 2013 and still sitting on hold waiting for a medical, that's nearly 18 months and from what others have said that's not unusual.
     
  19. red2005

    red2005 Member

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    not necessarily!.......i applied for my job January 2014 and started June 9th!.......it very much depends on the Toc and how they recruit, yes some like the good old talent pool but there are Toc's out there that still recruit the old fashioned way!

    I'd say being strategic about who you apply to is key here if you want a relatively quick process!.....if you are happy to sit in a talent pool then i'd say yes apply now to whoever but i've known people sit in talent pools for endless amounts of time after succesful test passes only to be emailed by the Toc and told they are starting afresh and they will need to apply again so even with talent pools there are no guarantees!

    me personally i would be hanging on a bit.......spend that time doing research on the job/industry etc and apply closer to the time when you are fully prepared and ready and allowed to actually start!.......it is always a generally lengthy process no matter who you apply to as railway HR ain't the quickest of cats but that certainly doesn't mean you'll be waiting years!......if you apply to the right place with the right application it can also be reasonably quick!
     
  20. class 9

    class 9 Member

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    Best of luck, I notice you say you're a mechanic in the army, I don't know which part of the country your from but if doesn't work out on the driving front, Freightliner Maintainance are usually looking for fitters at their depot in Leeds.
     
  21. irish_rail

    irish_rail Member

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    Can you still pay to take the driver psychometric tests privately?
    Used to be about £200 and that would surely put you ahead of the competition when applying for jobs.
    However, I know the tests changed a couple of years ago, so not sure if its still available privately. EWS at Doncaster used to do it.....
    Good luck.
     
  22. red2005

    red2005 Member

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    EWS used to in Doncaster i did it there myself!........trust me it does in no way put you ahead of the competition!......the main bulk of the competition is at the application/paper sift stage and if your app is not good enough it doesn't matter how good your private assessment pass is you won't get through.

    also most companies now will still send you to take their own assessments even if you have took it privately already!.......you're better off just applying to the toc directly and it'll cost you nothing......either way you will still need to get through the sift!
     
  23. edbhoy

    edbhoy Member

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    Applied end of December and got a start date of May 25th so the whole process took 5 months, application, online tests , telephone interview , stage one , DM interview , stage 2 and medical :)
     
  24. Jim88

    Jim88 Member

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    London Midland?
     
  25. irish_rail

    irish_rail Member

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    Well trust me, it does. I did it , applied to a TOC, and was offered a job 2 months later, all without any railway experience whatsoever.
    Obviusly you need to be able to sell yourself too, but if there are 100 applicants who on the face of it are similar, then having already passed the assessments will make you stand out.

    But as I said, not sure if its still available, can anyone on here confirm?
     
  26. Sgiot

    Sgiot Member

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    Yes, it's available with Dbschenker in Doncaster. £450 for all the tests.
    Phone them and they'll email you details. If I get no joy getting to
    assessment stage with the 2 applications that I am waiting on
    I will certainly be doing it myself.
     
  27. red2005

    red2005 Member

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    i can't honestly see looking back how it makes you stand out!............yes it may save the company a few quid if they decide not to send you for tests again but it's all about the application form from what I've been told by my HR!

    i told the girl who gave me the job that i'd took the tests years earlier and thought i would be on the home straight at that stage and she actually said it means very little as they would of sent me for the tests again anyway but that would only have been if my application was up to scratch!........getting the buzz words in the application and having experiences that would make you right for the job are looked at way before test passes!..........especially since most companies now have the managers interviews before any assessments anyway so there's plenty of hurdles to get passes before any test passes become relevant!

    can't see the point with parting with 450 quid when you can take them for free with the toc anyway!
     
    Last edited: 3 May 2015
  28. Johncleesefan

    Johncleesefan Member

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    Doing the course and paying yourself certainly isnt going to hurt you (except your bank balance) but as red says, most tocs will make you sit their assessment centres anyway and in my opinion rightly so.
    That way all candidates are marked fair and square and there would be no disbuting that someone had it easier.

    I would however reccommend (as I used and studied myself) The how2become a train driver book. Only the book, the rest is all glorified and is in the book anyway.
    I found this very useful even if it just helped to direct me in what i should be researchng and practicing.
     
  29. brend89

    brend89 New Member

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    Brill I have a HGV licence so will get signed up to an agency and do some driving if it will look favourable on my application
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Brill I'm based in Lancashire so that would be worth looking at as a backup!
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I see what you mean, kind of a hard one to judge I suppose will make sure I'm fully clued up and ready for assemsment centres before I apply and then see how the recruitment scene is looking
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Actually just bought that from Amazon glad to see it's recommended, did see they ran courses but was a bit dubious, will give them a miss I think
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Will look into this like I say I might be able to get some funding and every little helps as they say
     
  30. Johncleesefan

    Johncleesefan Member

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    the book was good. it spends a bit of time on each part of the recruitment process. the course he runs however i would miss. i teaches you to suck eggs, how to dress and sit etc. best of luck in your endeavors though. keep us informed as to how u get on :)
     
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