Change of career

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Garry74

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Well after 10 years as a systems engineer, the last 5 being in the nuclear industry I have decided to change career. I have lost all interest in my current job.

Looking through all the TOC websites for trainee drivers jobs its seems they are rare and I've missed some in the last few months. Hopefully though somebody will start recruiting in the north west soon. Fingers crossed.
 
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MR_P

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Good luck, I'm in a very similar position to you, I first applied 3 years ago and still trying so patience is a virtue.

You may be lucky first time, my brother was, he left the armed forces after being in it all his life and got in first time.
 

WCMLaddict

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Garry.
With your skills and experience maybe you could just look at changing industry? As I understand there are some great opportunities on the signaling side of things.
Or you just don't want to have anything to do with system engineering all together?
 

Garry74

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I want out of engineering altogether. I have never really thought of anything that would interest me and that my qualifications would actually get me somewhere until now. I just wish i started looking sooner. Oh well, I'll play the waiting game and hope something appears.
 

reapz

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Ring /email all tocs and ask for an app form , this is always the first port of call for tocs before they advertise externally
 

shirleyd286

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Garry74, take reapz advice, I wrote a nice selling myself letter and CV to Greater Anglia for any trainee driver roles, I was sent an application to fill out which was just before the jobs were advertised on the GA website. I am an ex RAF Aircraft engineer so know how you feel.....
 

jadam35

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Well after 10 years as a systems engineer, the last 5 being in the nuclear industry I have decided to change career. I have lost all interest in my current job.

Looking through all the TOC websites for trainee drivers jobs its seems they are rare and I've missed some in the last few months. Hopefully though somebody will start recruiting in the north west soon. Fingers crossed.
Northern are advertising for trainee drivers at Blackpool today. (24/04/12) But be quick, closing date is the 27th.. Good luck.
 

jonnyb1978

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Well after 10 years as a systems engineer, the last 5 being in the nuclear industry I have decided to change career. I have lost all interest in my current job.

Looking through all the TOC websites for trainee drivers jobs its seems they are rare and I've missed some in the last few months. Hopefully though somebody will start recruiting in the north west soon. Fingers crossed.
First Transpenine will be recruiting soon for trainee drivers for their Liverpool and Preston depots they are opening.
If you can afford it financially i would also look at guards/conductor jobs as a foot in the door. Far more driver jobs are recruited internally.
 

E&W Lucas

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Well after 10 years as a systems engineer, the last 5 being in the nuclear industry I have decided to change career. I have lost all interest in my current job.

Looking through all the TOC websites for trainee drivers jobs its seems they are rare and I've missed some in the last few months. Hopefully though somebody will start recruiting in the north west soon. Fingers crossed.
Not at all; there's a steady stream of vacs. Don't be put off by the numbers of applicants either. Suitable people get the job, often at the first attempt. I made a similar decision to you a good number of years ago now, and have never regretted it. The very best of luck to you!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
First Transpenine will be recruiting soon for trainee drivers for their Liverpool and Preston depots they are opening.
If you can afford it financially i would also look at guards/conductor jobs as a foot in the door. Far more driver jobs are recruited internally.

Utter and complete nonsense.
 

reapz

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Best advice is to get on the railway(any grade) and apply for loads of jobs all over the country and try to move back up with your key as its very hard to get into driving in more rural locations.

It just depends on how fast you want to become a driver , If its quickly then you may have to bite the bullett and move to a london depot, if you dont mind waiting around you can oviously be more select.
 
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dugster70

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Good luck, I'm in a very similar position to you, I first applied 3 years ago and still trying so patience is a virtue.

You may be lucky first time, my brother was, he left the armed forces after being in it all his life and got in first time.
I second that, i've just finished 26 years in the Army and I am convinced that the skills that I acquired during that time gave me an advantage at interviews and assessments due to the fact that they were relevant to train driving regards team play, working as an individual and health and safety. I still had to sell myself big time though. I've now been offered a position with Northern starting on 14th May. Over the moon is a massive understatement.
 

reapz

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I second that, i've just finished 26 years in the Army and I am convinced that the skills that I acquired during that time gave me an advantage at interviews and assessments due to the fact that they were relevant to train driving regards team play, working as an individual and health and safety. I still had to sell myself big time though. I've now been offered a position with Northern starting on 14th May. Over the moon is a massive understatement.
good news
 

E&W Lucas

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Foot in the door is best , a lot of managers feel that drivers should have some rail experience . a lot of new drivers we have had from "the street" have spads and a lot of them have been sacked so the company learnt its lesson.

I dont really know my thoughts on it but that how it is where I am atm
Sounds more like a case of "Driver Envy" to me I'm afraid, and the comments about "off the street" are both factually inaccurate, and enormously offensive to the vast majority from that route, who do perform to the required standard.

The internal route is worth a try for people with nothing on their CV, but there is no guarantee that it will work for them. If you're a suitable candidate (and the required skills have been outlined on here enough times), with some life experience on your CV, then you should be able to get the job directly. It's worked for plenty of us.
 

dugster70

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reapz, you are a man/woman (not sure of your sex) of very few words whose posts do not make sense, judging by the way you reply to posts it would appear you have a chip on your shoulder about something, if you are a driver (which is an assumption) then start posting material that has some value to users who take the time to come on here for advice regarding the role.
 

reapz

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reapz, you are a man/woman (not sure of your sex) of very few words whose posts do not make sense, judging by the way you reply to posts it would appear you have a chip on your shoulder about something, if you are a driver (which is an assumption) then start posting material that has some value to users who take the time to come on here for advice regarding the role.

If you are internal they can check sickness records, how you handle shift work , your general work attitude and how you apply your self.

Managers can see this first hand if you are internal thats why internal will always have a slight edge of external.

So if you want a driving job you wont do yourself any harm getting on the platform or a guards job
 
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Beveridges

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If you are interanal they can check sickness records, how you handle shift work , your general work attitude and how you apply your self.

Managers can see this first hand if you are internal thats why internal will always have a slight edge of external.

So if you want a driving job you wont do yourself any harm getting on the platform or a guards job
Yes, and also I am glad I don't ever have to apply external to my TOC anymore! They only allow external candidates to have one application going at once, while Internal candidates can apply for as many as they want, so if Drivers jobs come up at 3 different locations, I could apply for the lot if I wanted to. Also, externals have to wait 6 months after being unsuccessful with my TOC, while internals can just reapply any time. It does not take a genius to work out which one is better.
Then apart from having the option to apply Internal, theres still the option to apply external for any other TOCs. At the moment I'm in no rush I'm Depot Driving at Blackpool which is a good job itself so I can now afford to pick and choose which vacancies to apply for rather than just going for anything.
 

reapz

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Yes, and also I am glad I don't ever have to apply external to my TOC anymore! They only allow external candidates to have one application going at once, while Internal candidates can apply for as many as they want, so if Drivers jobs come up at 3 different locations, I could apply for the lot if I wanted to. Also, externals have to wait 6 months after being unsuccessful with my TOC, while internals can just reapply any time. It does not take a genius to work out which one is better.
Then apart from having the option to apply Internal, theres still the option to apply external for any other TOCs. At the moment I'm in no rush I'm Depot Driving at Blackpool which is a good job itself so I can now afford to pick and choose which vacancies to apply for rather than just going for anything.
Thats the best place to be in , there is no rush to get your key (mainline :-P)
 

dugster70

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Yes, and also I am glad I don't ever have to apply external to my TOC anymore! They only allow external candidates to have one application going at once, while Internal candidates can apply for as many as they want, so if Drivers jobs come up at 3 different locations, I could apply for the lot if I wanted to. Also, externals have to wait 6 months after being unsuccessful with my TOC, while internals can just reapply any time. It does not take a genius to work out which one is better.
Then apart from having the option to apply Internal, theres still the option to apply external for any other TOCs. At the moment I'm in no rush I'm Depot Driving at Blackpool which is a good job itself so I can now afford to pick and choose which vacancies to apply for rather than just going for anything.
You obviously enjoy your depot job, so why mainline? What do you mean by 'going for anything'
 

Beveridges

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Thats the best place to be in , there is no rush to get your key (mainline :-P)
You could be right, there is no rush I'm not that bothered about making the move until I get really bored with depot work. I thought depot > mainline was natural progression but have heard from ex mainline drivers who are now depot based the majority of them said they'd rather not go back, so unsure if mainline would be a good move but I think I'd just have to wait and see if/when I make the move, it all probably comes down to individual opinion/preference
What do you mean by 'going for anything'
going for anything means applying for any vacancy even if its not your preferred depot/location

Anyway this is going OT now so back to the original topic
 
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GB

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Unless your privvy to the internal workings of all the HR departments on all the rail companies you cannot say with any certainty that one route is better or preferred over the other.

The fact is some companies do not hire "off the street" while some do.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
You could be right, there is no rush I'm not that bothered about making the move until I get really bored with depot work. I thought depot > mainline was natural progression but have heard from ex mainline drivers who are now depot based the majority of them said they'd rather not go back, so unsure if mainline would be a good move but I think I'd just have to wait and see if/when I make the move, it all probably comes down to individual opinion/preference

going for anything means applying for any vacancy even if its not your preferred depot/location

Anyway this is going OT now so back to the original topic
I thought you were not happy with your current job? Your posts over at RC seemed to suggest that.
 

KA4C

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I'm afraid, and the comments about "off the street" are both factually inaccurate, and enormously offensive to the vast majority from that route, who do perform to the required standard.
Quite right and as a footplate dinosaur myself (for 38 years), who has been involved in the recruitment, training, ongoing management and comp assessment of "off the street" drivers, I can honestly say that there are many very fine drivers who have come into the industry by that route, as there are from guards and other railway staff, along with we "lost boys"

There are knobs in the grade, yes, but they do not come exclusively from one direction

It is not about where you come from, it is about whether you become a railwayman in the first place and a footplateman in the second
 

jonnyb1978

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Utter and complete nonsense.
Well after 10 years on the railway my ATOC has never recruited drivers externally and same goes for a number of others.
If a job is advertised internal, only internal staff can apply.
If a job is advertised external, both internal and external staff can apply.

Common sense indicates there is more choice and more jobs available for the internal staff to apply. Not rocket science.

The Op wanted a career change, why shouldnt he apply for a guards/conductors job first. He can get foot in the door, change his career, still apply for external jobs and also has the added benefit of any internal jobs that come up, driver job or any others. He then has more choice.
Common sense not nonsence.

Its about giving the Op options to enable to get his change of career and job he wants.
 
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ANorthernGuard

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There are good drivers and bad no matter where they come from, however I do find the most knowledgable and the ones who have come from the railway ranks so to speak to (IMHO) be more teamwork orientated and more respectful to other grades. New drivers off the street tend to have a higher percentage of superiority complex syndrome, whether that's due to training I have no idea. But give it a few weeks they soon remember that respect and teamwork are the way forward lol
 

E&W Lucas

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Quite right and as a footplate dinosaur myself (for 38 years), who has been involved in the recruitment, training, ongoing management and comp assessment of "off the street" drivers, I can honestly say that there are many very fine drivers who have come into the industry by that route, as there are from guards and other railway staff, along with we "lost boys"

There are knobs in the grade, yes, but they do not come exclusively from one direction

It is not about where you come from, it is about whether you become a railwayman in the first place and a footplateman in the second
Very well put, thank you!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Well after 10 years on the railway my ATOC has never recruited drivers externally and same goes for a number of others.
If a job is advertised internal, only internal staff can apply.
If a job is advertised external, both internal and external staff can apply.

Common sense indicates there is more choice and more jobs available for the internal staff to apply. Not rocket science.
Numbers of vacs?

Hardly. Some of the outfits that recruit in small numbers, do put the jobs about internally first. Doesn't mean that they are always able to fill them with those candidates though.

The easiest way to get a key, is via one of the major suburban operators. The majority of those serve the London market. In terms of numbers, that's where most of the vacs are. In that market, the vast majority of the successful candidates are external.

For someone who already has a strong CV, there is absolutely no need to be applying for other roles within the industry.
 

jonnyb1978

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Very well put, thank you!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


Numbers of vacs?

Hardly. Some of the outfits that recruit in small numbers, do put the jobs about internally first. Doesn't mean that they are always able to fill them with those candidates though.

The easiest way to get a key, is via one of the major suburban operators. The majority of those serve the London market. In terms of numbers, that's where most of the vacs are. In that market, the vast majority of the successful candidates are external.

For someone who already has a strong CV, there is absolutely no need to be applying for other roles within the industry.
You go on about london. The op lives in north west. Its about whats best for the op.

I agree to some extent but being internal gives you more choice. Its basic maths.
Lets say im a conductor and your a builder (a non railway person).
There have been 20 advertisments the last year for external trainnee drivers. That means we can both apply for the same amount of jobs. Then my TOC advertises internally for trainee drivers. I can apply, you cant. Plus I will not have to wait if I have an external application pending. Therefore giving the Op more choice and increasing his chance of getting his desired job.
 

Gareth43

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I would be slightly concerned at the attitudes of whether internal or external is best, "surly" at some point even you guy's were external applicant's.
Why should those that apply externally be any less suitable for a career as a train driver?
 
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