Becoming a train driver

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by Thornaby, 30 Apr 2008.

  1. Slinky252

    Slinky252 Member

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    Thanks mate
     
  2. Firecrest

    Firecrest New Member

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    Hey everyone

    I've been following the forums for some time and I wanted to spread some ♥️ and offer an easy method for receiving instant alerts when a job vacancy is posted, especially for Trainee positions which don't seem to last for very long.

    I hope you find it useful!

    You'll need to use the Google Chrome browser
    • Login to Chrome with a Gmail account (create one if you haven't already got one)
    • Enter search text for your dream job (it must contain the word Job)
    For example
    trainee train driver job -lorry -bus -instructor

    The - sign immediately before a word omits results that contain that specific word i.e you don't want trainee Lorry drivers, you want trainee train drivers. It makes the results more relevant.​
    • When the results appear look for a Create Alert slider button and tap it, it should flip over to the right and you'll now get alerts straight to your Gmail inbox. (to see the slider button you might have to expand the results by clicking Show more first)
    One last and important step. When you receive an alert email, click the text at the bottom that reads Manage Alerts. In the resulting page select the frequency for the alerts to be Instant.

    That's all folks, good luck
     
  3. Buel

    Buel Member

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    Hi all.
    I live near Shrewsbury and Chester. Other than TFW, please can I ask who else I should be keeping an eye on for vacancies?
     
  4. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    One from me in a similar nature

    Whenever I really want something that I can find on the interwebs I load the relevant website and then add it to my homepage. Set the TOCs career/vacancy page to one of your homepage tabs and whenever you open your browser it will automatically refresh the page, or at least encourage you to check it :)
     
  5. Bradpaisley94

    Bradpaisley94 New Member

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    As a foreigner, I am having a little bit of a hard time getting a grip on how the British system works. I have understood that there is a lot of competition about each new trainee position, but how many positions are there annually per average? I mean, is it even realistically worth trying to get one?
    In Sweden, where I am from, there is a shortage of train drivers. But I guess that is not the same in Britain? I am 25 years old, healthy, educated (double Science degrees) and a big train enthusiast. What can I do to maximize my chances? Is there any part of the country where it is easier to get in a trainee position?

    Many thanks!
     
  6. Driver2B

    Driver2B Member

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    Hi,

    In the UK, there is A LOT of competition for train driver jobs. Figures are usually said to be around 300-500 applicants for each job! After all, a starting wage (after training) of £50,000-£60,000 pa without need for formal qualifications or experience sounds very attractive (people don't consider the negative factors of the job)! Therefore, statistically, it is difficult to get a job.

    Recruitment for train drivers can take many years - plenty of anecdotal evidence for this on these forums! I'm hopefully starting in the next few weeks and I applied almost 18 months ago! Many of the applicants may not have had their heart set on train driving and might not have remained interested, looking for more of an instant job.

    The psychometric assessments will rule many people out (after two fails, you don't get any more tries). Then you have to really show your enthusiasm and skills in interview - some applicants might not have even researched enough to find this forum (which is very high on a Google results list)! What I'm trying to say is that while 300-500 people might apply for a job, many of those might just be "giving it a shot" rather than really, really want it like me and others on this forum. So maybe, it's not quite as difficult as it first seems - but that's not to say that it's easy, either!

    Anyway, in the UK, you can't independently train for the job. You need a company to employ you as a trainee and they will train you.

    Therefore, the first stage is to look for job adverts. Because train operating companies get so overwhelmed with so many applications, they don't usually advertise very often. And when they do, they frequently close them before the closing date (after less than 36 hours in one case I know of!). The first thing that you need to do is to register on the careers sites of all of the train operating companies and freight operating companies in your area. You can usually set up alerts, so set up an alert on each of these that they e-mail you whenever they have a vacancy including the word "driver". Also set up alerts to every new thread to this board: https://www.railforums.co.uk/forums/railway-jobs-careers.122/

    Once you see an advert for a company in your area, cancel all other plans and apply to it! Remember, you don't know how long it will be up (think in hours and not days)! Having all of the dates of previous employment, and educational qualifications to hand, ready to copy and paste will help! Also, they might ask you why you want the role or to explain why you are suitable for the role. Have some answers ready to copy, paste and edit to suit their specific question ready.

    Then comes the sift! They will decide who they are interested in and who they are not. You might get binned (thanks, but not on this occasion) or you might get through to assessments! I applied to 7 and got binned by 4. It could take up to six months to hear from the TOC!

    Eventually, you might be invited to go for assessments. I was invited over a year after applying to a TOC - don't expect it to be quick!

    If you pass those, you will be invited to two interviews - a Driver Manager Interview (DMI) and a Multi-Modal Interview (MMI).
    (The MMI is technically part of the assessments, and depending on your TOC, might be conducted on the same day as some of your assessments.)

    If you are successful, you will be sent for a medical. If that is successful, references and criminal record check. Then, hopefully, you start training! :)

    Your first day of training is your first day of working for the company, even though you are not "productive" at this time. Training is split into three stages, usually with a pay rise at the end of each stage:
    Stage 1: Personal Track Safety (PTS) and Rules
    Stage 2: Traction and Handling (after which you get your "key" or driving licence)
    Stage 3: Route learning.

    Training can take anything fro 9-18 months, depending on your TOC and depot. Some need to learn more traction than others. Some need to learn more routes than others. Some need to learn all routes before driving, others can add to their route card gradually.

    Therefore, the procedure isn't like applying for a course where you hope to get a job at the end, but it applying for a job, where they train you.

    Finally, the other thing you mentioned is your qualifications. I, too, have a degree, and so do many train drivers, but that's not necessarily what they are looking for. Key things that you need to tell them during the application process (application and interviews are):
    * commitment to safety and following rules and procedures, and experience in safety-critical roles
    * attention to detail, including in a fast-paced environment
    * ability to make decisions and experience of doing this
    * ability to work alone and experience of this
    * good communication skills and ability to work with others
    * commitment to good customer service (but not at the expense of safety)

    Also 25 is quite quite young. It's not a barrier per se, but many other applicants are aged 30-50, and some older than that. They will be looking for experience over youthfulness!

    Anyway, I hope that this has been helpful. If you have any queries, please don't hesitate to respond. Good luck in finding a position!
     
  7. 1812_s

    1812_s Member

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    can someone link me the best online software to help with the computer tests of the driving assessment.

    Also something with the TEA-occ if possible

    Thanks in advance
     
  8. Driver2B

    Driver2B Member

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    I've posted the following elsewhere.

    Re the TEA-Occ, it includes a link to a test track. I don't know of any such software or other audio files. If you have a helpful friend or family member and a keyboard/piano, that would work well.

    There's also a good video for the ATAVT Perception Test. You could ask a friend or family member to find some similar images online and show you a peak at those then answer the questions, although it's probably largely something you're innately good at or not.

    Personally, I wouldn't stress too much about the computer tests. The GBT is what I practised for the most and am glad that I did!

    Hope it's helpful.

     
  9. 1812_s

    1812_s Member

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    Thanks!
     
  10. Buel

    Buel Member

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    This really was incredibly helpful, thank you so very much for it.
     
  11. Driver2B

    Driver2B Member

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    You're very welcome! :)
     
  12. Driver2B

    Driver2B Member

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    You're welcome! :)
     
  13. Slinky252

    Slinky252 Member

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    Hi guys, just wanted to know a bit more about the whole recruitment numbers wise. I have just put my first application into West Midlands trains and unfortunately fell at the first stage the sjt. I have looked at my answers and due to overthinking, I reckon ,I know now where I went wrong. So I’m going to get myself ready for the next job advert ,which I understand could take sometime. So how many would you say apply for 1 position? How many jobs are available possibly (I guess that’s like how long is a piece of string those two) how many in percentages get through application wise. And then how many fail the tests before DMI. I here the failure rate is massive through the whole process hence why they need to keep recruiting but also I here people stuck in the process for years ,just being patient. Sorry for all these questions just trying to get an up to date answer on these. And when historically do West Midlands trains recruit is it once a year, longer or do they sometimes surprise with more than one a year. Cheers ???
     
  14. Topcat999

    Topcat999 Member

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    300+ applicants per position? Wow......I think I'll give up on this. Even if 80% are wild shots that's over 60 competitors per position. The chances of success are very slim!

    I wish I had have gone for this 15 years ago....sadly not to be. Good bye and good luck!
     
  15. baz962

    baz962 Established Member

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    You have as much chance as anyone else. Nothing to lose.
     
  16. diana

    diana Member

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    Hello, has anybody from Exeter group who had 2nd assessment in Swindon today passed? can we congratulate anybody today? I had a feeling we had 3 future train drivers there? I failed the perception test
     
  17. Willum

    Willum Member

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    A few of us from here going up next Tuesday. How was it?
     
  18. AshDee

    AshDee Member

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    Horrible feeling isn’t it, I failed mine yesterday on the phonebook test I misinterpreted what was to be done! I’ve spoken to quite a lot of people who failed first time but passed 2nd time so good luck for the future.
     
  19. Topcat999

    Topcat999 Member

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    i know what you mean but I can't sit here hoping. I'll give it another shot until next year then that is that.
     
  20. MORGANE

    MORGANE New Member

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    thanks so much baz962
     
  21. Peeler

    Peeler Member

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    Apologies if it has been covered before in this thread but it’s a long so will ask.

    How long does the recruitment process typically take? Do TOCs advertise to create a talent pool or because they genuinely have places coming up? I only ask because I’ve been essentially told that ‘movement at the depo is expected so they’ve been asked to recruit’. Given the process to become qualified takes over a year, in reality what does the recruitment cycle for train drivers actually look like?
     
  22. AshDee

    AshDee Member

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    I applied in November I didn’t hear anything until Feb when I was invited to interview. I had my interview on the Monday and found out I was invited to assessment by the Wednesday . My assessment date was 2 weeks later, unfortunately I failed on the simplest task as assessment but had I been successful I was likely to start training Sept or Dec so it’s about a year long process. I now need to wait 6 months before retrying the assessment
    Good luck though it’ll be worth it if you succeed
     
  23. Peeler

    Peeler Member

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    Thanks for the info Ash. It looks like different TOCs do things in different order if you had your interview before assessment?

    I did application form, online situation test & then assessment centre.

    Sorry to hear you didn’t pass one of the tests. Best wishes for a re-try.
     
  24. AshDee

    AshDee Member

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    Thank you it’s acwaiting game now
     
  25. Railweigh

    Railweigh Member

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    As someone else said above, you’ve as much chance as anyone else. I got in first time from a non-railway, non-safety critical background. Others on my course did too.

    Depends on the TOC and what their requirements are at the time. I started the course within 6 weeks of my first interview, though the interview itself was 4 months from my application date.
     
  26. OneLowban

    OneLowban Member

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    Just as a message to anyone in this thread looking to become a train driver after reading some above, do not give up!

    We were told for every one of us on the driver course there were 340 that didn’t make it, but until you are told it’s not you more than once, you still have a chance.

    In general age, background, level of education doesn’t matter. Just go for it.
     
  27. PeeWee

    PeeWee New Member

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    Evening all. Are there any train drivers in the North Liverpool area who I can private message for some advice please?
     
  28. Peeler

    Peeler Member

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    Hi, are there any train driver managers on here that would be open to a question?
     
  29. Adam Mcgregor

    Adam Mcgregor Member

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    Hello
    Sorry if this is a silly question. Just started looking into becoming a trainee driver. What is the best way to not miss out on job adverts for drivers.
    Thanks Adam
     
  30. MostlyHarmless

    MostlyHarmless Member

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    Keep an eye these forums - people will nearly always post vacancies as they are advertised, but also sign up for job alerts on your local TOC's recruitment website, and check there regularly. If you do spot a vacancy then apply straight away as they don't always stay up for the length of time advertised, simply due to the number of applicants.
     

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