Grand Central trainee driver vacancies

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C J Snarzell

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I've been following the Grand Central page for the last few weeks. They seem to have been recruiting for the management roles first and have moved onto to the operational roles with a view to going live with the Blackpool to Euston service next Spring.

Unfortunately, all the on-board roles (other than the driver) require a food hygiene certificate as essential criteria for the role. Most other TOCs don't even mention this in their job specifications for the same positions. Does anyone know more about this certificate or if it's something you can do as a online course in your spare time. There seems little point even applying for these roles without one.

I also note that Grand Central don't disclose the salaries for their roles. I would assume that as they fall under the umbrella of the Arriva group their salaries will perhaps be similar to those of Cross Country and Northern for similar roles. Again I could be wrong about this if anyone can put me right?

C J
 

ainsworth74

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Wireman

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They had been advertising for qualified drivers for some time now, i think the fact that its open access could be why they might be finding it hard to find the amount of drivers they need how ever many that might be.
 

Gemz91

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I've been following the Grand Central page for the last few weeks. They seem to have been recruiting for the management roles first and have moved onto to the operational roles with a view to going live with the Blackpool to Euston service next Spring.

Unfortunately, all the on-board roles (other than the driver) require a food hygiene certificate as essential criteria for the role. Most other TOCs don't even mention this in their job specifications for the same positions. Does anyone know more about this certificate or if it's something you can do as a online course in your spare time. There seems little point even applying for these roles without one.

I also note that Grand Central don't disclose the salaries for their roles. I would assume that as they fall under the umbrella of the Arriva group their salaries will perhaps be similar to those of Cross Country and Northern for similar roles. Again I could be wrong about this if anyone can put me right?

C J

Been a while since I did my food hygiene course but you used to be able to do it fairly in-expensively at your local collage. Assuming its a basic one its fairly straight forward and simple. Still surprised that its an essential criteria for the role and by not having it I wouldn't let it put you off applying for the job. Its something that be achieved in course that lasts a few hours.

From what I gather Grand Centrals wage for drivers is lower then other operators in the area (read somewhere its £55,000 but could be wrong), so they are having trouble recruiting drivers in the area.

I thought Grand Central now accepts Privs so I would assume that they now have Priv travel themselves, but I could be wrong?
 

wensley

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On a train...somewhere!
no railway pension, priv and Fip travel
PRIV and FIP now available to GC employees although does remain outside the railway pension scheme.

Qualified Drivers have been/still are being recruited for the NW although the move to taking trainees for Blackpool is in line with similar (internal) recruitment of the same nature at Sunderland and Bradford.
 

RollingOn

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I've had a search through old threads on Grand Central and didn't manage to find anything recent about the recruitment process. Has anyone got any information about this? Thanks
 

DoubleO

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Salary currently around 55k, but with 2019 and 2020 pay deals still to be agreed it'll probably ended up at 60k ish. Priv travel now included. Not part of the full RPS but a similar Arriva scheme is still offered, not quite as good but comparable.
 

Red1980

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Salary currently around 55k, but with 2019 and 2020 pay deals still to be agreed it'll probably ended up at 60k ish. Priv travel now included. Not part of the full RPS but a similar Arriva scheme is still offered, not quite as good but comparable.
I think you need to define comparable there? I turned down a position with GC because the Arriva workplace pension was more comparable to that of a bus driver than it was RPS.

From what I read it was nowhere near as good.
 

RollingOn

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I think you need to define comparable there? I turned down a position with GC because the Arriva workplace pension was more comparable to that of a bus driver than it was RPS.

From what I read it was nowhere near as good.
I suppose it's quite attractive to people off the street but not so much for qualified drivers moving over.

For me, it's a shame about the pension but if I get the job it's better than what I'm currently doing.
 

Red1980

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Definitely. Coming off the street it's incredibly attractive.

However, as you say a qualified driver already on a final salary pension which is arguably the best around definitely has more to think about. It's great they've got Priv and FIP now though.

Oh for sure. If someone's level of job satisfaction is their main priority and they aren't really too fussed about the financial/long term side to it then once again it's pretty much a no brainer.

I was genuinely gutted to turn the job down in the end! Especially as it wasn't work related per say. It's easy to turn work down when the jobs rubbish but when it's a great number within a really good company it feels rubbish..... especially as it was just niggly things in the back of my head surrounding the pension that forced me to do it.

Best of luck! If you get it I'm sure you'll love it mate.
Red
 

hooverboy

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Unfortunately, all the on-board roles (other than the driver) require a food hygiene certificate as essential criteria for the role. Most other TOCs don't even mention this in their job specifications for the same positions. Does anyone know more about this certificate or if it's something you can do as a online course in your spare time. There seems little point even applying for these roles without one.



C J
basic food hygiene course is exactly what it says, basic.
it's a 1 day course with a few multiple choice questions at the end.

ultimately it will cover topics like:
1)cold chain and storage procedures for different food types.
2)heated products cooking and storage(ie on ban marie or hotplate- minimum temps and max duration on display)
3)kitchen risks, ie cross contamination of products,other kitchen hazards-ie cuts,burns,improper use of equipment,utensil cleaning and basic first aid
4)types of biohazard encountered ie staphyloccocus,streptococcus,listerea etc and their sources/risk reduction processes

been a while since I did mine(something like 25 years ago), but there wasn't much to it.
Easily done at a college on day release or evening class, if you don't already have an employer that is in the trade.

technically even if you voulenteer to bake cakes for the school fete you should be able to prove some degree of competence if asked to legally prove it.
In todays risk-averse culture it would be a good idea to cover your backside and get the paperwork
 

DoubleO

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I think you need to define comparable there? I turned down a position with GC because the Arriva workplace pension was more comparable to that of a bus driver than it was RPS. From what I read it was nowhere near as good.
It's certainly not as good as RPS, but it is still a final salary scheme. The numbers aren't as good ie. you pay a bit more and get a lower return, so I totally understand that moving onto it from an RPS scheme would cause some doubt.
 

C J Snarzell

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I'm very surprised about the food hygiene certificate as I'm sure there are plenty of established railway employees working for other TOCs who don't have one. I know buffet cars on carriages deal with packaged foods like ready made sandwiches, crisps and confectionary - people working in a supermarket handle these items everyday at the tills but don't need any certificate!!!

Am I right in thinking that some long distance trains have a kitchen area? Virgin recently advertised for a on-board chef so I'm only assuming Grand Central have something similar lined up?

I've not used a long distance service for quite a while, except for a recent trip to Crewe on a Virgin service and although I walked passed the buffet shop I certainly didn't come across a kitchen area walking through three carriages!!!

Please feel free to put me right about this.
 

hooverboy

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I'm very surprised about the food hygiene certificate as I'm sure there are plenty of established railway employees working for other TOCs who don't have one. I know buffet cars on carriages deal with packaged foods like ready made sandwiches, crisps and confectionary - people working in a supermarket handle these items everyday at the tills but don't need any certificate!!!

Am I right in thinking that some long distance trains have a kitchen area? Virgin recently advertised for a on-board chef so I'm only assuming Grand Central have something similar lined up?

I've not used a long distance service for quite a while, except for a recent trip to Crewe on a Virgin service and although I walked passed the buffet shop I certainly didn't come across a kitchen area walking through three carriages!!!

Please feel free to put me right about this.
The packaged products you speak of are likely sandwiches ,correct?
In which case they will contain meat/dairy/egg/poultry that needs to be kept refrigerated.
Prepackaged does not mean sterile.All these products will still contain a small amount of bacteria etc, which will multiply if given the right environment.

Most supermarket employees will do this basic course as a mandatory part of their induction and training, irrespctive of their position.

those in a more direct "firing line" such as chefs,fishmongers and butchers will have a more advanced qualification.

you still need to be aware of how long you are permitted to have these items out of the fridge for transport etc, and also the maximum temperatures of the refrigerated display they wll be kept in at the other end.
 
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ainsworth74

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Am I right in thinking that some long distance trains have a kitchen area? Virgin recently advertised for a on-board chef so I'm only assuming Grand Central have something similar lined up?

I've not used a long distance service for quite a while, except for a recent trip to Crewe on a Virgin service and although I walked passed the buffet shop I certainly didn't come across a kitchen area walking through three carriages!!!
Kitchen is found separate from the shop in coach K on the electric Pendolinos (a first class vehicle usually at the London end of the train) as only first class passengers receive a meal. The shop I believe will do hot food of some description but not proper meals. On diesel Voyagers there is a food preparation area again in the first class vehicle but this isn't really a full kitchen (but the food it can turn out is still very nice) and again is separate from the shop. Many other long distance operators have kitchens EMR, LNER and GWR for example have kitchens on all their long distance inter-city services.

As alluded to the requirement for a food hygiene certificate doesn't necessarily mean that they'll be serving proper meals as it can be relevant even if you're handling pre-packaged food. Indeed that would be quite a departure for Grand Central to start serving meals as currently I'm not sure they serve anything more substantial than a pre-packed sandwich!
 

craigybagel

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I'm very surprised about the food hygiene certificate as I'm sure there are plenty of established railway employees working for other TOCs who don't have one. I know buffet cars on carriages deal with packaged foods like ready made sandwiches, crisps and confectionary - people working in a supermarket handle these items everyday at the tills but don't need any certificate!!!

Am I right in thinking that some long distance trains have a kitchen area? Virgin recently advertised for a on-board chef so I'm only assuming Grand Central have something similar lined up?

I've not used a long distance service for quite a while, except for a recent trip to Crewe on a Virgin service and although I walked passed the buffet shop I certainly didn't come across a kitchen area walking through three carriages!!!

Please feel free to put me right about this.
When I worked for Virgin as a mere part time onboard CSA we all had to do a level 2 food safety course as part of our training, and you had to sit a refresher every 3 years. The onboard chef's had to do it to an even higher level IIRC.
 

C J Snarzell

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I see the trainee Conductors role has already been taken down from the vacancy board - no surprises as usual with the volume of people that generally apply. It's sometimes like opening the doors to a Black Friday sale when HR advertise any trainee roles. It would be interesting to know how many applicants genuinely have this food hygiene certificate?
 

headshot119

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I see the trainee Conductors role has already been taken down from the vacancy board - no surprises as usual with the volume of people that generally apply. It's sometimes like opening the doors to a Black Friday sale when HR advertise any trainee roles. It would be interesting to know how many applicants genuinely have this food hygiene certificate?
A level 2 food hygiene certificate can be obtained easily enough, your local college, accredited online training courses etc. If you had been serious about applying for the role, your own research would have lead you to this conclusion.
 

donnyjohnny

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I see the trainee Conductors role has already been taken down from the vacancy board - no surprises as usual with the volume of people that generally apply. It's sometimes like opening the doors to a Black Friday sale when HR advertise any trainee roles. It would be interesting to know how many applicants genuinely have this food hygiene certificate?
You can do a food hygiene course on line then print you own certificate which I did for £12.00, sorted.
 

jezzer34

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mine says application still in progress however i did have a missed call while in work, no message left and it was from a mobile so i guess it wasn't the phone call i would like. fingers crossed.
 
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