Career Move..

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by jgul, 27 Aug 2015.

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  1. jgul

    jgul New Member

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    Good Evening All,
    I'm currently a Merchant Navy Navigational Officer and have been in this industry for 10 years, given me some great memories and experiences throughout the travel I have managed with it.

    However there comes a time in life (just cresting the last slope to 30) where being away as much as I am has a crippling effect on your life and that of your loved ones.

    This being the case I have been looking for a possible route into working in the rail industry as a driver or engineer over the last couple of weeks and only seem to find opening for experienced train drivers.. This being such I'm either looking in the wrong place or such information is not out there?

    I'm about to sit down and write an email to a few railway groups and then fire off a few postal ones complete with an updated CV etc ..

    Just hoping someone here has an idea on the best route to take or links to such places?
    Best Regards to all
    James
     
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  3. JohnFM

    JohnFM Member

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    Howdy jgul, welcome.

    Train Operator Companies, TOC's, do not accept CV's for train driver positions. They recruit for experienced drivers or you apply as a trainee as, and when, an advert for trainees to go into a talent pool arises on their recruitment websites.

    Not sure about the engineering side of things.
     
  4. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    Such is the high volume of applications these days it's sometimes quicker and easier to choose another railway related role such as conductor or platform staff and progress from there. Would you consider that option?
     
  5. Johncleesefan

    Johncleesefan Member

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    Sometimes a speculative email/application is exactly what you need to do to bag a trainee role, heard success stories from using this approach. Apply for what you want to do first and foremost. Then consider other roles if proving unsuccessful.
     
  6. Lanc688

    Lanc688 Member

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    jgul,

    Back in 2012, I was in a similar boat (no pun or actual boat intended), and decided to pay privately to do the aptitude tests with DBS at Donny.

    I sent the test certificate, along with CV and covering letter to two TOCs and received replies within days, stating their present recruitment situation. As soon as they had trainee vacancies I was contacted again and duly applied. I now work for one of those TOCs and am in year 3 of driving.

    While I agree that often companies will just refer you to their recruitment websites and advise waiting for the next slots, I also believe that a proactive approach can be of great use and so why not do the same as I did. I'm sure with your experience you could construct a great CV and so crack on and bring that job to you, don't sit and wait when you can show what you have to offer.

    Good luck and keep us informed on how you get on.

    Lanc
     
    Last edited: 28 Aug 2015
  7. jgul

    jgul New Member

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    Thanks for the replies to far, along the lines of what I was thinking of doing.

    I just find it odd these days that this information is not portrayed in regards to training slots.

    lanc688, any idea on the cost of these? Training centres and length of time it takes? I'm on a six week rotation so to fit it in during a leave period or long distance learning (floating around Trinidad at the moment) would be good, the proactive approach is a great option.

    Thanks
    James
     
  8. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    These days recruitment seems to be done online via websites even for qualified drivers so I'm not sure of the speculative approach with CVs etc when there are thousands of applications for these positions.

    Is it the general opinion in the forum that someone who has a technical or other specialized job is more suited to be a train driver than say someone working as a security guard ?
     
    Last edited: 28 Aug 2015
  9. 387star

    387star On Moderation

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    You will doubtless pass everything no problem must prepare yourself for a long wait ahead in a talent pool with no set start date as these things often take time
     
  10. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    That's how I landed the role of trainee driver with a CV and covering letter however that was 16 years ago now.
     
  11. Lanc688

    Lanc688 Member

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    The test was the one day affair for the driver aptitude and was with DBS, however not sure that they do that anymore. I believe there is one company that you can do them with (poss OPC), just do a bit of searching. You can't pay to do the training though, like in the aviation industry.

    Lanc
     
  12. jgul

    jgul New Member

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    Thanks all,

    great bit of input here for me to think about.

    Situation is that my CV is based around sea/offshore based jobs as I've been at it for 10 years.
    Need to spruce it up a tad and get it sent out with a cover letter etc.

    I've been scanning through the internet and came across traindriver.org which had some handy tips that ill also follow, on this was a link to another website for training charging £147+vat for from what I could tell was a preparation course with how2become.com, has anyone had any experience with this? Worth it or not?

    Thanks
     
  13. Johncleesefan

    Johncleesefan Member

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    my only experience with how2become was the book and pc cdrom i bought off them. i found the information contained within both very useful and invaluable.

    whist the actual examples relating to job specific are fairly scarce, the overall way the product helped me and shaped me for interviews and assessments worked a treat so i would reccommend them.

    the course however i cannot comment. hope this helps
     
  14. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    Many have said it is a waste of money and all the research you need in on the internet.
     
  15. Dai_Llama

    Dai_Llama Member

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    What he said. Save the money and let the internet do the leg work for you.

    Good luck.
     
  16. JohnFM

    JohnFM Member

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    Traindriver.org is simply selling info that is already here, on this very website. Everything you need is on the first two sticky threads on this forum.

    They don't have any info to give. They advertise as, and when, the need to fill the talent pools emerge.

    You are consistent with the desire to send out a CV but you'll be wasting your time sending it. They have changed since TDK sent a CV many years ago; they can afford to be more selective.

    They recruit through job adverts only. If you send a speculative CV they reply saying "thank you we do not have any posts at the moment . . . yadda yaddda etc" even if there are posts!

    They only recruit through replies to their job adverts and the strict application process for those posts.
     
  17. 387star

    387star On Moderation

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    Gtr scotrail and crossrail needing most drivers at present
     
  18. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    Totally agree to a certain degree on this as the jobs these days are so oversubscribed that companies can pick and choose the most suitable candidates. To get job vacancies I suggest you go on to the websites of the local depots (within 1 hour of your home address) and set up email alerts for vacancies. These days 1 in over 150 get the role on an average (ball park figure) and many jobs are filled internally with guards progressing to the driver role.

    Ex forces personnel fare well usually with the sifting process due to the fact that many of the tasks that you would have carried out fit the desirable needs that companies want. For example your role would have had safety critical and also strict H & S rules, you most likely have done shifts, worked alone and in a small team, the only thing lacking may be customer facing roles.

    Jobs are a lot more prevalent now than a few years back and may vacancies do arise so keep your eyes peeled on this forum, company websites and anywhere else jobs may be advertised.
     
  19. JohnFM

    JohnFM Member

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    This is advised by many people and, in theory, is also an effective tool in job hunting but two roles have come up that did not end up in my email inbox so I would not entirely rely upon the TOC telling you when a job comes up.

    I check twice a week, Monday afternoon and Thursday afternoon, manually. It seems to work much better.
     
  20. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    It may be more beneficial to check every day if that is at all possible as sometimes the vacancies are withdrawn extremely quickly, I have always had email alerts come through and this way you will receive an alert either on your PC or phone.
     
  21. 387star

    387star On Moderation

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    Are greater anglia likely to re advertise? Was unsuccessful at final interview early this year and though in two pools don't like all eggs in one basket

    Had good feedback and would love a second attempt
     
  22. JohnFM

    JohnFM Member

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    I'd love to get email alerts but, for whatever reason, the TOC websites can't be relied upon to let you know.

    Checking everyday isn't always possible as my current job keeps me busy, and away from a reliable signal for my phone, so I plan my diary at the moment so I can check at least twice a week.

    I sent out six CV's to TOC's and each and every one of them replied with almost the same cut and paste answer that you'd think the same person wrote them. "Thank you for your CV and covering letter. Sadly, we do not accept CV's in this manner but rather rely upon applications via our website . . . " etc, etc.
     
  23. Mjt1867

    Mjt1867 Member

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    Feel like I've been really fortunate. I posted my CV and cover letter to my local TOC around 2012, a few weeks later I received an application form and questionnaire to return.

    Then in July this year, totally out of the blue, I received a message on my phone saying they'd like me to come along for an assessment in August, which I passed.

    Sadly I was unsuccessful at the structured interview a couple of weeks back. I now have to wait at least six months for another interview and really give it my best shot.
     
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