Current Serving HM Armed Forces looking for a switch

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Corin_VL

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Hello people, currently serving in The British Army, however I’ve always wanted to drive trains, ever since I was a boy, I’m sure a lot of people are the same. I’m finding it very difficult to find Apprenticeship Train driving roles within rail companies, mainly because there aren’t any! Any advice would be appreciated for ways I can go about achieving a dream. Thanks guys
 
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221129

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Hello people, currently serving in The British Army, however I’ve always wanted to drive trains, ever since I was a boy, I’m sure a lot of people are the same. I’m finding it very difficult to find Apprenticeship Train driving roles within rail companies, mainly because there aren’t any! Any advice would be appreciated for ways I can go about achieving a dream. Thanks guys
You apply for the TOCs near you when vacancies arise. Thats all you can do to start off with.
 

221129

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Cheers buddy, unfortunately they seem to be far and few between unless I’ve missed a major recruitment wave!
They are often only posted for a few days if that! Driver jobs are extremely popular attracting 1000s of applications per vacancy. You need to check daily.
 

LSWR Cavalier

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Loads of info on these fora already, a lot of police officers have upgraded to the railway for example, so military could be appropriate too, you could spend sone time browsing
 

TTDARL

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Register for job alerts at your preferred choice of train / freight operating companies via their individual careers / recruitment websites.
 

Papa

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I went from Armed Forces to train driver, have you put your notice in? My advice use you home address, check the forums and job sites daily, research the process, keep applying if you are not successful.
 

dawny291

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I'm ex Armed Forces and several of my colleagues are. When I went through Driver Training there were 4 of us (RAF/Army) within the cohort of 14, plus an ex copper! Keep checking these forums, company websites, job sites, etc, as trainee positions do crop up. Drop me a PM if you need further info/advice.
 

Watershed

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Your chances of landing a role will vary significantly depending on where you live. You usually won't be considered if you live more than 45 or 60 minutes' drive from the depot in question (some shifts start or finish in the small hours of the day so you can't exclusively rely on public transport).

So, for example, living towards the middle of London you would be much more likely to be able to get a trainee role than if you lived in a rural area.
 

Chris_SSBN05

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I was in the Royal Navy before landing my trainee driver job. I echo what others have said here. Check the forums, check your local passenger train operators and freight train operators. I actually got my job notification from being subscribed to Indeed job alerts. I don't know how the Army's leave notice works, but in the Navy, you have to give them a year's notice, which just doesn't work. Suffice to say...they let me go, but it was extremely difficult to leave the navy without that full year. What I would say is put your notice in now....then if you land the job, you'll have leverage with them. I had to waiver all my terminal leave, pay and job workshops (meh...!) And I had to burn a few bridges too, but a job like this doesn't come for free. Where will you be living when you move? As has been said, If you have a choice, move to within 45 mins of a major depot or station to increase your chances. Also there may be less jobs available at the moment, as lots of training pipelines are backed up due to the current issues, so there may not be as many places going as there would be in normal times. Not to say that's the case all over the country, but where I am, training has been on hold since March 2020.
 

joshuan542

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Hello people, currently serving in The British Army, however I’ve always wanted to drive trains, ever since I was a boy, I’m sure a lot of people are the same. I’m finding it very difficult to find Apprenticeship Train driving roles within rail companies, mainly because there aren’t any! Any advice would be appreciated for ways I can go about achieving a dream. Thanks guys
You'll need to apply when the trainee driver vacancies arise, could be waiting a few days or years.

You'll then be faced with passing even the initial application sift, if you pass this you will then sit a bunch of assessments, if these are passed you then move into two different interviews, one is a regular railway competency interview called the DMI, the other is an MMI which varies alot, in the sense they test personality attributes and figure out if you match the role well etc..

It's insanely hard to get the job, due to the amount who apply (even internally most of us get scrubbed from roles such as conductor, shunter drivers, shunters etc..) but some do make it, but just be aware it will likely be a very long recruiting process, you may pass everything and wait many years for a course also it's incredibly common across many TOC's
 

Chris_SSBN05

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I'll just add one thing to my post...the initial application is extremely important to get a sniff of the next stage. Read it through, whatever you do before you submit it. There WILL be mistakes. I aint gonna spoonfeed but you'll need to explain how your role in the Army crosses over to what a train driver does. Think Concentration, shift work and sleep patterns (shouldn't be a prob for armed forces..!), responsibility, safety critical stuff, checking, paperwork, how you might deal with the public and difficult situations, what procedures you might have to follow, how you plan your work. This can all be put into the first application form. A few of my oppos in the Navy apllied on the recruitment drive after mine and they all got binned at the application stage. It's all in the wording, it needs to stand out...for the right reasons!
 

Rockhopper

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But be careful of writing too much or they just wont read it. Having said that i believe many applications are machine read at the initial stage and they pick out key words so make sure things that are in the job description are mentioned in your application.
 

Kendo

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8 Jan 2019
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I'll just add one thing to my post...the initial application is extremely important to get a sniff of the next stage. Read it through, whatever you do before you submit it. There WILL be mistakes. I aint gonna spoonfeed but you'll need to explain how your role in the Army crosses over to what a train driver does. Think Concentration, shift work and sleep patterns (shouldn't be a prob for armed forces..!), responsibility, safety critical stuff, checking, paperwork, how you might deal with the public and difficult situations, what procedures you might have to follow, how you plan your work. This can all be put into the first application form. A few of my oppos in the Navy apllied on the recruitment drive after mine and they all got binned at the application stage. It's all in the wording, it needs to stand out...for the right reasons!
Couldn't agree more I was ex Navy too and genuinely believe it played a massive part in me landing the job as a trainee train driver. There's so many transferable skills from being in the forces and for me the Railway has so many similarities to the forces. The biggest bit of advice I would give.... as Chris said always relate previous experiences to the roles as a train driver. Concentration is massive I was lucky enough I was a radar operator so spent hours looking at a radar screen and it's pretty much the same as a driver. Good luck
 

Corin_VL

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London
I went from Armed Forces to train driver, have you put your notice in? My advice use you home address, check the forums and job sites daily, research the process, keep applying if you are not successful.
I haven’t yet, as you know there’s a year sign off period. But I know of some people who have shortened it if they have a guarantee of a job in civvie street

I'm ex Armed Forces and several of my colleagues are. When I went through Driver Training there were 4 of us (RAF/Army) within the cohort of 14, plus an ex copper! Keep checking these forums, company websites, job sites, etc, as trainee positions do crop up. Drop me a PM if you need further info/advice.
Brilliant good to know. I will do cheers

Your chances of landing a role will vary significantly depending on where you live. You usually won't be considered if you live more than 45 or 60 minutes' drive from the depot in question (some shifts start or finish in the small hours of the day so you can't exclusively rely on public transport).

So, for example, living towards the middle of London you would be much more likely to be able to get a trainee role than if you lived in a rural area.
I live NE London and I have my own mode of transport so I’m within an hours commute to all major London depots

I was in the Royal Navy before landing my trainee driver job. I echo what others have said here. Check the forums, check your local passenger train operators and freight train operators. I actually got my job notification from being subscribed to Indeed job alerts. I don't know how the Army's leave notice works, but in the Navy, you have to give them a year's notice, which just doesn't work. Suffice to say...they let me go, but it was extremely difficult to leave the navy without that full year. What I would say is put your notice in now....then if you land the job, you'll have leverage with them. I had to waiver all my terminal leave, pay and job workshops (meh...!) And I had to burn a few bridges too, but a job like this doesn't come for free. Where will you be living when you move? As has been said, If you have a choice, move to within 45 mins of a major depot or station to increase your chances. Also there may be less jobs available at the moment, as lots of training pipelines are backed up due to the current issues, so there may not be as many places going as there would be in normal times. Not to say that's the case all over the country, but where I am, training has been on hold since March 2020.
It’s the same in the army, one years notice, but can be shortened at the discretion of your CO if you have a guarantee of a job after the army. I live in NE London and I’m less than an hours commute from most major London depots

Couldn't agree more I was ex Navy too and genuinely believe it played a massive part in me landing the job as a trainee train driver. There's so many transferable skills from being in the forces and for me the Railway has so many similarities to the forces. The biggest bit of advice I would give.... as Chris said always relate previous experiences to the roles as a train driver. Concentration is massive I was lucky enough I was a radar operator so spent hours looking at a radar screen and it's pretty much the same as a driver. Good luck
Yeah I’m an aviation comms specialist, so high levels of communication, concentration, vehicle documents etc etc are all massive parts
 
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Chris_SSBN05

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29 May 2019
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Couldn't agree more I was ex Navy too and genuinely believe it played a massive part in me landing the job as a trainee train driver. There's so many transferable skills from being in the forces and for me the Railway has so many similarities to the forces. The biggest bit of advice I would give.... as Chris said always relate previous experiences to the roles as a train driver. Concentration is massive I was lucky enough I was a radar operator so spent hours looking at a radar screen and it's pretty much the same as a driver. Good luck
Sonar for me on Vanguard submarines...and upper deck trots and QM all times of the day shows you can stay awake, as does the monotony of tracking 2 or less ships over a 6hr watch... It did perplex the spanner wielding master race that a 'dabber' could land a decent job after the mob!

Like you say, the skills are very transferrable. My DMI was basically me talking about submarines for 45 mins 8-)
 

Kendo

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Sonar for me on Vanguard submarines...and upper deck trots and QM all times of the day shows you can stay awake, as does the monotony of tracking 2 or less ships over a 6hr watch... It did perplex the spanner wielding master race that a 'dabber' could land a decent job after the mob!

Like you say, the skills are very transferrable. My DMI was basically me talking about submarines for 45 mins 8-)
Ha sounds pretty much like my DMI have you ever been in an emergency situation...... well action stations for 4 weeks in the gulf could count as an emergency situation
 
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