SWR Driver Talent Pools

C00k1e

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Hi folks, I’m not sure if this has been asked in other threads but I can’t seem to find much info regarding any recruitment drives from SWR for this year. I have an open application with them from last year and have passed assessments, dmi and mmi but it seems that COVID has put a dampener on any trainee train driver positions for the time being. Does anyone have any knowledge of when Trainee train driver positions might start to take place and for which depots. I am sure there must be many others in the same situation, any information would be greatly appreciated. I have been in touch with HR but always the same COVID response!

Mod note - Some posts originally in this thread: https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/swr-recruitment-2021.216135/
 
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Bigfoot

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There is a huge backlog of trainees who are part trained currently, some have been twiddling their thumbs for a year now because of covid restrictions. Some training has restarted but at a much reduced rate, multiple temperature checks each day, twice weekly covid testing etc.
 

MatthewLdn

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I also contacted recruitment recently and from the sounds of it, I don’t think there’s going to be much movement with recruitment this year. I just hope it happens before my passes expire. Not much I can do really but wait and keep my fingers crossed that I get the call eventually.
 

C00k1e

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There is a huge backlog of trainees who are part trained currently, some have been twiddling their thumbs for a year now because of covid restrictions. Some training has restarted but at a much reduced rate, multiple temperature checks each day, twice weekly covid testing etc.
Yeah I get that, the same with every other workplace that has had to keep operating but restrictions are about to be lifted and hopefully a continuation of new driver output must be a priority to the toc? I guess if there is a back log of trainees twiddling thumbs it will be a while for newbies!
 

djwent

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I’m in exactly the same position as you...passed assessments, DMI and MMI and even had a medical booked which was then cancelled back in April last year. I’ve contacted recruitment a couple of times and they are always really helpful and honest. They’ve said there is such a backlog, they don’t expect to take on anymore trainees this year, that may change towards the end of the year but they don’t hold out much hope. Just have to keep the faith!
 

C00k1e

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I guess I was more interested to find out if anyone had heard about SWR’s priority depots for new drivers once things start returning to normal.

I’m in exactly the same position as you...passed assessments, DMI and MMI and even had a medical booked which was then cancelled back in April last year. I’ve contacted recruitment a couple of times and they are always really helpful and honest. They’ve said there is such a backlog, they don’t expect to take on anymore trainees this year, that may change towards the end of the year but they don’t hold out much hope. Just have to keep the faith!
Thanks, the same sort of responses I have had too.
 

Bigfoot

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I guess I was more interested to find out if anyone had heard about SWR’s priority depots for new drivers once things start returning to normal.
I think every toc doesn't really know what it's priority will be as no one really knows how covid will affect the return of the passenger to the railway once normality returns to life. There are many staff I know of who are reconsidering when to retire compared to their plans from. A year ago. Who knows what the introduction of the 701 and impending change to door operation will do to those who are close to retirement age. Too many variables. Although at SWR Waterloo will always be at or close to the top of the list.
 

C00k1e

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Thanks folks, that’s a good insight into how training is delivered. I guess it will be a long waiting game for new recruits with a huge backlog already. Hopefully our assessments won’t go out of date!!
 

C00k1e

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Great article! I wonder also if the gov will have any say in how the industry moves forward, especially since they brought in the ERMA’s last year?
 
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C00k1e

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Hi folks, I am interested if there are many on here in a Talent Pool for SWR Trainee Train Drivers? If so how long have you been in the talent pool and for what depots? Also have you had any recent comms with regards to potential start dates or other progression towards medicals etc?
 
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joshuan542

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Hi folks, I am interested if there are many on here in a Talent Pool for SWR Trainee Train Drivers? If so how long have you been in the talent pool and for what depots? Also have you had any recent comms with regards to potential start dates or other progression towards medicals etc?
Unfortunately many are waiting across SWR, Courses arent running anymore this year im told as they need to clear a large backlog of training, they possibly will resume next year for those with course dates provisional for this year, then maybe they will take talent pool in a couple of years now, It all depends to be honest but just dont rely on getting a date, continue your current job and just wait until uyou possibly get the call, ive known people in regular circumstances to be held in the pool for many years pre covid.
 

C00k1e

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Unfortunately many are waiting across SWR, Courses arent running anymore this year im told as they need to clear a large backlog of training, they possibly will resume next year for those with course dates provisional for this year, then maybe they will take talent pool in a couple of years now, It all depends to be honest but just dont rely on getting a date, continue your current job and just wait until uyou possibly get the call, ive known people in regular circumstances to be held in the pool for many years pre covid.
I was asking out of interest as I realise the backlogs etc. I’m just interested in finding out which depots will be deemed operational priorities for manning once things start picking up again. I was told Westbury is considered a priority and wondering if anyone else had heard about other depots?
I certainly won’t be holding my breath for start dates etc!!!!!
 
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swr444

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I was asking out of interest as I realise the backlogs etc. I’m just interested in finding out which depots will be deemed operational priorities for manning once things start picking up again. I was told Westbury is considered a priority and wondering if anyone else had heard about other depots?
I certainly won’t be holding my breath for start dates etc!!!!!
Westbury isn't a SWR depot
 

C00k1e

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Good Morning, I am wondering if anyone on here has any experience of being employed by SWR, GWR or Firstgroup in general and progressed to become a Trainee/ Train Driver. My reason for asking is to see if it would be worthwhile considering a different position within these companies with a view to internal progression to becoming a driver. I am already in a SWR pool but have no way of knowing how long it will take, or if it ever will, to materialise into being put on a course. Is it common for personnel to progress to driver roles after being employed in different areas of the business? Many thanks.
 

Stigy

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Good Morning, I am wondering if anyone on here has any experience of being employed by SWR, GWR or Firstgroup in general and progressed to become a Trainee/ Train Driver. My reason for asking is to see if it would be worthwhile considering a different position within these companies with a view to internal progression to becoming a driver. I am already in a SWR pool but have no way of knowing how long it will take, or if it ever will, to materialise into being put on a course. Is it common for personnel to progress to driver roles after being employed in different areas of the business? Many thanks.
I’ve worked for SWT/R and am now at GWR. I’d personally urge you, if it’s possible, to get a foot in the door. Whatever role you do, you could do a lot worse than the railway. It’s often easier to move on to driving if you’re internal to the industry, not necessarily because you’re already in and they prefer internal candidates, but because you’ll gain loads of transferable skills, especially if the job you get is safety critical.

What I would say though, is that it’s often no easier getting a non-driver role within the railway as it is a driver role, so be prepared for a few knockbacks. Probably worth speaking to recruitment and see what they advise if you’re already in a pool. Good luck.
 

C00k1e

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I’ve worked for SWT/R and am now at GWR. I’d personally urge you, if it’s possible, to get a foot in the door. Whatever role you do, you could do a lot worse than the railway. It’s often easier to move on to driving if you’re internal to the industry, not necessarily because you’re already in and they prefer internal candidates, but because you’ll gain loads of transferable skills, especially if the job you get is safety critical.

What I would say though, is that it’s often no easier getting a non-driver role within the railway as it is a driver role, so be prepared for a few knockbacks. Probably worth speaking to recruitment and see what they advise if you’re already in a pool. Good luck.
Thank you Stigy, really great advice, much appreciated. Do you mind me asking how long you were with the company before transferring to GWR.
I have seen a few positions recently that I think would be worth applying for so I will go for it and see what happens. I think I will contact recruitment too and see what they advise, I have always found them to be very helpful in the past. Cheers:D
 

Stigy

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Thank you Stigy, really great advice, much appreciated. Do you mind me asking how long you were with the company before transferring to GWR.
I have seen a few positions recently that I think would be worth applying for so I will go for it and see what happens. I think I will contact recruitment too and see what they advise, I have always found them to be very helpful in the past. Cheers:D
I was with SWT/R for around 13 years, started in 2006.

I was always in the department/role at SWT/R (although the role evolved and changed etc, and I was promoted a couple of times). I tried a couple of times to go driving but stuff got in the way etc. In hindsight I do wish I’d persevered far sooner.

Also to add, you just have to go where the key is, if that makes sense? It would have been easier to stay at SWR for me, but I would have had to redo some psychometric assessments, so I hedged my bets. The same can be said for if your ideal TOC isn’t recruiting, but another local one is.
 
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C00k1e

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Evening folks, slightly off piste for this thread but does anyone have any experience of MB2 roles for SWR, specifically Maintenance MB2? I was wondering what the career path or progression for this role might be, initial training, overtime opportunities, etc. I am interested in this position at Salisbury depot. Thanks in advance.
 
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Evening folks, slightly off piste for this thread but does anyone have any experience of MB2 roles for SWR, specifically Maintenance MB2? I was wondering what the career path or progression for this role might be, initial training, overtime opportunities, etc. I am interested in this position at Salisbury depot. Thanks in advance.

Training is carried out at Salisbury depot. Overtime is available on occasion. It's a diesel depot so expect to get your hands dirty. 4 on, 4 off permanent days or nights.

Career progression from MB2 to MB3 is possible in time, providing you have the qualifications and ability.

Doesn't look like they are recruiting this role right now, but it does come up frequently.
 

C00k1e

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Training is carried out at Salisbury depot. Overtime is available on occasion. It's a diesel depot so expect to get your hands dirty. 4 on, 4 off permanent days or nights.

Career progression from MB2 to MB3 is possible in time, providing you have the qualifications and ability.

Doesn't look like they are recruiting this role right now, but it does come up frequently.
Many thanks, I have an assessment day for this role coming up soon for the day shift vacancy advertised a couple of weeks ago. Cheers.
 
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Many thanks, I have an assessment day for this role coming up soon for the day shift vacancy advertised a couple of weeks ago. Cheers.

That's great news!

Good luck for your assessment. If you have any more questions about the role don't hesitate to ask.
 

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