Conductor at a younger age

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AlphaHotel

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hi ladies and gents
I posted on here a while back and got some opinions regarding going to airlines or to the trains, and I made a decision to go onto the trains however being only 19 when I finish college what would the prospects of getting a conductor job, or dispatcher at a younger age than most? I studied customer services level 3 as a part of my course currently and also have minor hands on cash handling and customer service, however nothing major would that automatically put me at a disadvantage? And what could I do now to increase my chances, cheers TIA
 
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dzdoris

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hi ladies and gents
I posted on here a while back and got some opinions regarding going to airlines or to the trains, and I made a decision to go onto the trains however being only 19 when I finish college what would the prospects of getting a conductor job, or dispatcher at a younger age than most? I studied customer services level 3 as a part of my course currently and also have minor hands on cash handling and customer service, however nothing major would that automatically put me at a disadvantage? And what could I do now to increase my chances, cheers TIA
I can't help you but it sounds like you've got some experience under your belt already and a qualification in Customer Service which is a big plus. All I'll say is you've got to be in it to win it :)
 

saintsfan

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hi ladies and gents
I posted on here a while back and got some opinions regarding going to airlines or to the trains, and I made a decision to go onto the trains however being only 19 when I finish college what would the prospects of getting a conductor job, or dispatcher at a younger age than most? I studied customer services level 3 as a part of my course currently and also have minor hands on cash handling and customer service, however nothing major would that automatically put me at a disadvantage? And what could I do now to increase my chances, cheers TIA

I was 19 when I started my Guards course. I worked in a supermarket for the previous 3 years, and gained my experience there - such as Customer service and following rules and regulations (around food safety, cash handling etc.) The more experience the better, but don't think that your age will count against you! I'm now 21 and about to start my Drivers course! Best of luck with your career!
 

221129

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I started my first railway job aged 18 (non safety crit) and then started my first safety critical role aged 20. As long as you have the experience to pass the interviews then age isn't a factor.
 

185143

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I'm safety critical (not traincrew) and started at 18. Go for it is my advice.
 

8J

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Started as a conductor aged 18 and a driver at 21. I've never looked back.

I did a lot of customer service work between the ages 16 - 18 whilst still in school/6th form which helped massively in the application process.

Good luck!
 

RJM

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I started as a Guard aged 18 (joined the railway aged 17 as a Gateline Assistant) a year and a half before that. Landed the drivers job at 21 after that. Age is just a number, as long as you’ve got the experience needed for the role, you’ve got as much chance as everyone else!
 
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Go for it! I started out on the trains when I was 17 as an ops apprentice (not mainline) and still here 6 years later, though not an apprentice anymore. Your age shouldn’t have to much of an effect aside from the safety critical roles (train driver etc). Even drove a train at 18/19 (my company has different age rules)
 

Stigy

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hi ladies and gents
I posted on here a while back and got some opinions regarding going to airlines or to the trains, and I made a decision to go onto the trains however being only 19 when I finish college what would the prospects of getting a conductor job, or dispatcher at a younger age than most? I studied customer services level 3 as a part of my course currently and also have minor hands on cash handling and customer service, however nothing major would that automatically put me at a disadvantage? And what could I do now to increase my chances, cheers TIA
My advice would be to go for it, as is the general consensus here. What I would say though, is don’t be disheartened if you don’t even pass paper sifts initially. As you’re probably aware, most railway jobs are very sought after and attract large numbers of applicants. You may get as far as interview on your first or second application, but then be knocked back. It really is about sticking with it and not giving up.

Good luck!
 

AlphaHotel

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Thanks everyone, and im glad to see that the TOC's don't favour older applicants over younger, I appreciate everyone's responses, and of course I have the option to gain expirance while waiting for jobs to come up, thanks for the motivation and reassurance its appreciated!

AH

Started as a conductor aged 18 and a driver at 21. I've never looked back.

I did a lot of customer service work between the ages 16 - 18 whilst still in school/6th form which helped massively in the application process.

Good luck!
Did it massively effect what customer service you did ? Or was it mostly just general to say you had the expirance, no matter where it came from ?
 

8J

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Thanks everyone, and im glad to see that the TOC's don't favour older applicants over younger, I appreciate everyone's responses, and of course I have the option to gain expirance while waiting for jobs to come up, thanks for the motivation and reassurance its appreciated!

AH


Did it massively effect what customer service you did ? Or was it mostly just general to say you had the expirance, no matter where it came from ?

It does matter to an extent I think. Having some responsibility and being safety/security aware will be advantageous.
 

Horizon22

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Plenty of people your age on the railway - there's a huge range anyway. Your experience in customer service will already be beneficial. Many do start at dispatcher / gateline level, but plenty of young conductors too.
 

Mintona

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I was 18 when I started as a dispatcher. 19 when I went on train and 22 when I qualified as a driver. Go for it.
 

skyhigh

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Just echoing what everyone else says. I was 24 when I started as a guard, but on my course there was an 18yr old, and I know several people who started at the same age as them.
 

joshuan542

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hi ladies and gents
I posted on here a while back and got some opinions regarding going to airlines or to the trains, and I made a decision to go onto the trains however being only 19 when I finish college what would the prospects of getting a conductor job, or dispatcher at a younger age than most? I studied customer services level 3 as a part of my course currently and also have minor hands on cash handling and customer service, however nothing major would that automatically put me at a disadvantage? And what could I do now to increase my chances, cheers TIA
Not necessarily a disadvantage, what I would recommend is getting some solid customer service experience though, most of the time it will come down to the how you score points wise in your interview, and you will be asked
questions relating to experiences you have had.
For example can you tell us about a time when you have gone above and beyond for a customer, and tell us how this made you feel.. You'll need to answer in the STAR format and give them a good example that will essentially tick all boxes.

The questions asked, can either be easy or quite tough, just do not lie as they will see (they do hundreds of these and are trained to pick the best people for the job).

Another thing I will say, even internally it is in credibly tough to get to another grade. I have tried a few different roles including conductor as I work the for the UK's largest TOC. I failed by a point in the conductors interview (and I was internally recommended to go to the interview, I didn't even apply)

Eventually I passed the hardest interview i've done and I am now in the shunter role on the south coast.

Persistence is key, you may not pass the first 5 jobs you go for, but one day you may strike the gold.

If you need any more info on what the railway is like, the interviews, the questions, assessments etc.. just message me I'll do my best
 

AlphaHotel

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Not necessarily a disadvantage, what I would recommend is getting some solid customer service experience though, most of the time it will come down to the how you score points wise in your interview, and you will be asked
questions relating to experiences you have had.
For example can you tell us about a time when you have gone above and beyond for a customer, and tell us how this made you feel.. You'll need to answer in the STAR format and give them a good example that will essentially tick all boxes.

The questions asked, can either be easy or quite tough, just do not lie as they will see (they do hundreds of these and are trained to pick the best people for the job).

Another thing I will say, even internally it is in credibly tough to get to another grade. I have tried a few different roles including conductor as I work the for the UK's largest TOC. I failed by a point in the conductors interview (and I was internally recommended to go to the interview, I didn't even apply)

Eventually I passed the hardest interview i've done and I am now in the shunter role on the south coast.

Persistence is key, you may not pass the first 5 jobs you go for, but one day you may strike the gold.

If you need any more info on what the railway is like, the interviews, the questions, assessments etc.. just message me I'll do my best
Yeah I've considered doing other roles such as booking office and or platform attendant to just get my foot in the door and work my way up, because anything is better than nothing, though im only really limited to 1 TOC in birmingham and i just felt maybe my chances were lowered due to the variety of other expirance available. Any idea if internal applications are more successful that 'off the street' or could it be a 50/50 split or its TOC dependant ?

Thanks for taking the time to respond its appreciated!

I was 18 when I started as a dispatcher. 19 when I went on train and 22 when I qualified as a driver. Go for it.
Do you think you hit the market at the right time to get within 1 year progression? or does right time wrong time not matter too much for example covid would be the wrong time? Ideally thats how I'd like to go but what we want and what we get are two different things :rolleyes:
 

AlphaHotel

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Hardly! There are multiple TOCs operating in the Birmingham area.

Avanti
XC
Chiltern
WMT
Thats not untrue however from what I understand, chiltern are mostly DOO and have seen that its only WMT that regularly advertise for positions with XC and avanti not so often. I maybe completely wrong and just haven't saw them advertise
 

Islineclear3_1

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Demonstrating that you have good communication skills though your customer service experience would be a big plus.

An older person might mean more experience but many companies like younger applicants whom they can train from scratch

If you apply for a TOC (train company), find out about them; their values, their operations/routes etc.

Also, think about how you handled difficult customers and difficult situations, what you could have done differently (if anything) and what you learnt from those encounters. You will most likely get asked questions regarding certain situations and judgements
 
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