SWR Guards Recruitment 2021

djack123son

Member
Joined
31 Mar 2020
Messages
73
Location
Woking
I started in November last year after original start date of May (guard).. my stint at training school is just coming to an end now, 2-3 month delay thanks to January lockdown. Some Guards trainers that were seconded to training school are actually heading back to their Home Depots now.. that should give you an idea of how much training is going to take place for the rest of the year.. "normally", 1 trainer to 4 trainees for some exercises, its now 1-on-1.. so ultimately they just don't have resources given their covid risk assessments.
 
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R

RailUK Forums

Joined
22 Jun 2020
Messages
73
Location
Portsmouth
Hi all,

Further exciting news, at least for those of us waiting for start dates, is the new Guard Deal going through now.

Full pay after being fully productive may take a bit longer, (75% for 6 the first months, 90% 6-12 months and 100% from 1 full year) but, knowing from various threads how long it can take from passing OPC and MMI to getting employed, made worse by COVID, I would rather get an earlier start date with less pay initially, then get to the stage where my 3 years OPC has expired and I would need to take it again.

For anyone who hasn't read it, this is the guts of it.

Please correct me anyone if I have interpreted any of this incorrectly, and, anyone already employed in the Guards role, please understand that I am posting this purely as a ray of hope for those of us waiting to start training who, with the current situation may be feeling some doubt, like myself, after a long wait. I am aware after reading another thread that there are elements of the deal that are considered by some to be detrimental to those already employed, such as the introduction of the Metro Guard role on 701's and less leave days etc.

For anyone who hasn't seen it this is the guts of it.

Firstly, weekly hours are being reduced from 42 hours to 37, with no drop in pay.

Additionally there is now a guarantee that ALL SWR trains will have a guard.

Good news!!!

As an example, I have been waiting for a start date at Fratton as a Commercial Guard since December 2019. I was recently told that there is in excess of 100 Comm Guards employed at Fratton currently alone. That really surprised me, I thought there was maybe 10-20.

Even if there is only 100, thats 500 hours a week (minus leave) to be filled. That's 14 new Guards required without the extra trains and the increase in peak seats planned, for which was I was recruited in the first place.

I'm number 4 in the que for Fratton, and I'm aware that there are a few guys at various stages at ROC Basingstoke, waiting to complete training. So, what with Guards retiring or moving to other roles within the company or the wider industry, I'm now very confident that when the backlog of trainees has cleared that I and others are looking to start date earlier next year rather than towards the end of it. I might be wrong but everything is crossed that I'm not.

Also, one of the ladies at recruitment told me last week that although there is no guards courses 'planned' for the rest of the year, that they hadn't been told definitively that there would be none. There may well be some towards the end of 2021, it all depends how quickly those who have been stagnating on course can progress.

So, there is hopefully light at the end of the tunnel for all of us

You can find the complete Guards deal on the RMT website

Good luck everyone, I hope this info cheers you all up as much as it did me

Re(guards)
 

Guardian

Member
Joined
21 Apr 2021
Messages
11
Location
Surrey
Hi all,

Further exciting news, at least for those of us waiting for start dates, is the new Guard Deal going through now.

Full pay after being fully productive may take a bit longer, (75% for 6 the first months, 90% 6-12 months and 100% from 1 full year) but, knowing from various threads how long it can take from passing OPC and MMI to getting employed, made worse by COVID, I would rather get an earlier start date with less pay initially, then get to the stage where my 3 years OPC has expired and I would need to take it again.

For anyone who hasn't read it, this is the guts of it.

Please correct me anyone if I have interpreted any of this incorrectly, and, anyone already employed in the Guards role, please understand that I am posting this purely as a ray of hope for those of us waiting to start training who, with the current situation may be feeling some doubt, like myself, after a long wait. I am aware after reading another thread that there are elements of the deal that are considered by some to be detrimental to those already employed, such as the introduction of the Metro Guard role on 701's and less leave days etc.

For anyone who hasn't seen it this is the guts of it.

Firstly, weekly hours are being reduced from 42 hours to 37, with no drop in pay.

Additionally there is now a guarantee that ALL SWR trains will have a guard.

Good news!!!

As an example, I have been waiting for a start date at Fratton as a Commercial Guard since December 2019. I was recently told that there is in excess of 100 Comm Guards employed at Fratton currently alone. That really surprised me, I thought there was maybe 10-20.

Even if there is only 100, thats 500 hours a week (minus leave) to be filled. That's 14 new Guards required without the extra trains and the increase in peak seats planned, for which was I was recruited in the first place.

I'm number 4 in the que for Fratton, and I'm aware that there are a few guys at various stages at ROC Basingstoke, waiting to complete training. So, what with Guards retiring or moving to other roles within the company or the wider industry, I'm now very confident that when the backlog of trainees has cleared that I and others are looking to start date earlier next year rather than towards the end of it. I might be wrong but everything is crossed that I'm not.

Also, one of the ladies at recruitment told me last week that although there is no guards courses 'planned' for the rest of the year, that they hadn't been told definitively that there would be none. There may well be some towards the end of 2021, it all depends how quickly those who have been stagnating on course can progress.

So, there is hopefully light at the end of the tunnel for all of us

You can find the complete Guards deal on the RMT website

Good luck everyone, I hope this info cheers you all up as much as it did me

Re(guards)
Have you got a link to this deal? I can’t find it on the RMT site. Thanks.
 
Joined
22 Jun 2020
Messages
73
Location
Portsmouth
For some reason I can't, but I've attached a picture of the header page with it at the top

Enjoy
 

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FM511

Member
Joined
3 Nov 2017
Messages
11
I really have no idea what to expect any more. :lol: I was offered a driver role for the Woking depot at the back end of February last year. Onboarding completed and then COVID hit. Had a call from SWR end of March saying they had frozen training. So I had 2 options. Be employed by SWR and stay on training wage until god knows when or stay with my current employer until I get a call back when SWR started training again. I chose the latter for a number of reasons and haven't heard anything since. At this point I wouldn't be too surprised if I have blown it. Either way I've made peace with that decision. I do hope it works out for the best for everybody else though. Fingers crossed.
 
Joined
22 Jun 2020
Messages
73
Location
Portsmouth
I really have no idea what to expect any more. :lol: I was offered a driver role for the Woking depot at the back end of February last year. Onboarding completed and then COVID hit. Had a call from SWR end of March saying they had frozen training. So I had 2 options. Be employed by SWR and stay on training wage until god knows when or stay with my current employer until I get a call back when SWR started training again. I chose the latter for a number of reasons and haven't heard anything since. At this point I wouldn't be too surprised if I have blown it. Either way I've made peace with that decision. I do hope it works out for the best for everybody else though. Fingers crossed.
Personally, I'd give HR a bell and find out
Thanks for providing that guys. That’s great news!
Yeah it's definately very encouraging isn't it. Before, I was thinking with possible reduced PAX numbers post COVID and more home working that there wouldn't be the need for the extra peak seats and the jobs could get pulled or we would all have a really long wait. Feeling much more positive now.
 

wegotitback

Member
Joined
11 Feb 2021
Messages
9
Location
Wallasey, Merseyside
Hi all,

Further exciting news, at least for those of us waiting for start dates, is the new Guard Deal going through now.

Full pay after being fully productive may take a bit longer, (75% for 6 the first months, 90% 6-12 months and 100% from 1 full year) but, knowing from various threads how long it can take from passing OPC and MMI to getting employed, made worse by COVID, I would rather get an earlier start date with less pay initially, then get to the stage where my 3 years OPC has expired and I would need to take it again.

For anyone who hasn't read it, this is the guts of it.

Please correct me anyone if I have interpreted any of this incorrectly, and, anyone already employed in the Guards role, please understand that I am posting this purely as a ray of hope for those of us waiting to start training who, with the current situation may be feeling some doubt, like myself, after a long wait. I am aware after reading another thread that there are elements of the deal that are considered by some to be detrimental to those already employed, such as the introduction of the Metro Guard role on 701's and less leave days etc.

For anyone who hasn't seen it this is the guts of it.

Firstly, weekly hours are being reduced from 42 hours to 37, with no drop in pay.

Additionally there is now a guarantee that ALL SWR trains will have a guard.

Good news!!!

As an example, I have been waiting for a start date at Fratton as a Commercial Guard since December 2019. I was recently told that there is in excess of 100 Comm Guards employed at Fratton currently alone. That really surprised me, I thought there was maybe 10-20.

Even if there is only 100, thats 500 hours a week (minus leave) to be filled. That's 14 new Guards required without the extra trains and the increase in peak seats planned, for which was I was recruited in the first place.

I'm number 4 in the que for Fratton, and I'm aware that there are a few guys at various stages at ROC Basingstoke, waiting to complete training. So, what with Guards retiring or moving to other roles within the company or the wider industry, I'm now very confident that when the backlog of trainees has cleared that I and others are looking to start date earlier next year rather than towards the end of it. I might be wrong but everything is crossed that I'm not.

Also, one of the ladies at recruitment told me last week that although there is no guards courses 'planned' for the rest of the year, that they hadn't been told definitively that there would be none. There may well be some towards the end of 2021, it all depends how quickly those who have been stagnating on course can progress.

So, there is hopefully light at the end of the tunnel for all of us

You can find the complete Guards deal on the RMT website

Good luck everyone, I hope this info cheers you all up as much as it did me

Re(guards)
Hi Nick hope your well, I've had a good read through the restructure package and from what i can gather the reduced rate of pay (after training) will only be for new starters who haven't started the recruitment process as of yet.
The likes of us who have completed the entire process and are just waiting for a start date will receive the full rate of pay as per the original application. I believe this is being discussed at company council level but obviously could be subject to change.
Hopefully this is even more positive news for us all.
 
Joined
22 Jun 2020
Messages
73
Location
Portsmouth
Hi Nick hope your well, I've had a good read through the restructure package and from what i can gather the reduced rate of pay (after training) will only be for new starters who haven't started the recruitment process as of yet.
The likes of us who have completed the entire process and are just waiting for a start date will receive the full rate of pay as per the original application. I believe this is being discussed at company council level but obviously could be subject to change.
Hopefully this is even more positive news for us all.
Hi Danny, Excellent, thanks for clarifying that. Yeah things are looking up, now we just need the backlog of trainees to get pushed through after 17th May and we can all get on with our lives.
 

swr444

Member
Joined
3 Mar 2021
Messages
15
Location
London
Hi Danny, Excellent, thanks for clarifying that. Yeah things are looking up, now we just need the backlog of trainees to get pushed through after 17th May and we can all get on with our lives.
I start my training next week, after having my start date changed 3 times. I think come the 17th May / 21st June, things will start to kick into gear properly
 

Monty

Established Member
Joined
12 Jun 2012
Messages
2,278
As an example, I have been waiting for a start date at Fratton as a Commercial Guard since December 2019. I was recently told that there is in excess of 100 Comm Guards employed at Fratton currently alone. That really surprised me, I thought there was maybe 10-20.

Even if there is only 100, thats 500 hours a week (minus leave) to be filled. That's 14 new Guards required without the extra trains and the increase in peak seats planned, for which was I was recruited in the first place.

I'm number 4 in the que for Fratton, and I'm aware that there are a few guys at various stages at ROC Basingstoke, waiting to complete training. So, what with Guards retiring or moving to other roles within the company or the wider industry, I'm now very confident that when the backlog of trainees has cleared that I and others are looking to start date earlier next year rather than towards the end of it. I might be wrong but everything is crossed that I'm not.


Re(guards)

Fratton is the largest Commercial Depot in the company, it's even larger than Waterloo's (excluding 'Metro' Guards). We have well over 130 on strength at the moment, and even with the reduced working week we have been told we are well over establishment. So it could be a while.
 
Joined
22 Jun 2020
Messages
73
Location
Portsmouth
Fratton is the largest Commercial Depot in the company, it's even larger than Waterloo's (excluding 'Metro' Guards). We have well over 130 on strength at the moment, and even with the reduced working week we have been told we are well over establishment. So it could be a while.
 

Guardian

Member
Joined
21 Apr 2021
Messages
11
Location
Surrey
I start my training next week, after having my start date changed 3 times. I think come the 17th May / 21st June, things will start to kick into gear properly
Nice one. Enjoy it mate. Bet you can’t wait. Which depot are you going to be based at? And are you Guard or Commercial? Also, what is special about 17th May/21st June?
 
Joined
22 Jun 2020
Messages
73
Location
Portsmouth
Thanks for that lol. I'm really not expecting a start date any time this year. I had no idea idea before how many there was at Fratton before the last few days, I thought maybe 20 tops. I'm still more comfortable knowing that I'm 4th in the que at a depot of +130 than only 20
 

swr444

Member
Joined
3 Mar 2021
Messages
15
Location
London
Nice one. Enjoy it mate. Bet you can’t wait. Which depot are you going to be based at? And are you Guard or Commercial? Also, what is special about 17th May/21st June?
Thanks man! Going to be based at WAT as a guard. 17th May is when hospitality etc opens indoors and 21st June is the date that social distancing may be removed.
 

Guardian

Member
Joined
21 Apr 2021
Messages
11
Location
Surrey
Thanks man! Going to be based at WAT as a guard. 17th May is when hospitality etc opens indoors and 21st June is the date that social distancing may be removed.
Oh ye of course. I thought there was something to do with the railway on those dates. Best of luck anyway.
 

C00k1e

Member
Joined
20 Feb 2020
Messages
45
Location
Uk
My last post deleted...don’t know why:s. SWR posted today Conductor vacancies for Fratton if anyone is interested. I put the link up earlier but it got deleted!!!
 
Joined
22 Jun 2020
Messages
73
Location
Portsmouth
It would be interesting to know if the Conductor Role with GWR has a start date or if it's a pool vacancy.

I'm kind of interested in applying for it but, if I got it, and I was on course then got a long awaited start date for Commercial Guard would I be able to pull out and start with SWR instead what with them both being First Group.

I'm desperate to get out of the industry I'm currently in and get started on the Trains, but would it even be ethical to start with one TOC then leave when in training or approaching full productivity for another one.

Advice anyone please..
 

vikingdriver

Member
Joined
11 Mar 2010
Messages
236
It would be interesting to know if the Conductor Role with GWR has a start date or if it's a pool vacancy.

I'm kind of interested in applying for it but, if I got it, and I was on course then got a long awaited start date for Commercial Guard would I be able to pull out and start with SWR instead what with them both being First Group.

I'm desperate to get out of the industry I'm currently in and get started on the Trains, but would it even be ethical to start with one TOC then leave when in training or approaching full productivity for another one.

Advice anyone please..

By all means apply but I'd stick with what comes along first and avoid burning bridges like that. You never know how the future will pan out.
 

vikingdriver

Member
Joined
11 Mar 2010
Messages
236
And there's the small matter of GWR paying 10k less than SWR

A significant difference! I guess that could change if harmonisation talks get under way again. All I'm really saying is you never know if you'd want to make that move in future, maybe trainee driver at GWR Fratton, relocating to the West Country or whatever the situation may be. I was told once that when you leave, they make a note on whether to employ you in future and I think taking the Michael would probably put a big cross in that box.
 

WombleGuard

Member
Joined
16 Dec 2019
Messages
74
Location
London
It would be interesting to know if the Conductor Role with GWR has a start date or if it's a pool vacancy.

I'm kind of interested in applying for it but, if I got it, and I was on course then got a long awaited start date for Commercial Guard would I be able to pull out and start with SWR instead what with them both being First Group.

I'm desperate to get out of the industry I'm currently in and get started on the Trains, but would it even be ethical to start with one TOC then leave when in training or approaching full productivity for another one.

Advice anyone please..
GWR paying 10k less for essentially the same job at the same depot. Hang fire would be my advice.
 
Joined
22 Jun 2020
Messages
73
Location
Portsmouth
Thank you guys, sound advice from you both I think. I just needed to weigh up what was most important, getting a possible earlier start date and sacrificing 10k a year, or sticking it out and waiting for SWR.

I got the call from HR that I had passed the interview in December 2019 after applying in November and to wait for a start date. After nearly 18 months of waiting, uncertainty because of reduced PAX numbers and some doubt whether I would have a job to go to because of it, I was firstly very pleased to hear that Claire Mann had been brought in to, quote "continue the planned 1.2B investment programme into the company". My confidence was further improved after hearing about the Guards deal discussed earlier in this stream, and how many Commercial Guards there are at Fratton. Then an element of doubt crept in again after Monty posted a comment that Fratton would still be overstaffed even after hours are reduced. Hence why a was looking at GWR. I have also previously told SWR that I am willing to re-locate if necessary.

All things considered I have decided to hang in there with SWR and not to apply. If there was an advertised start date or the wage was the same I'd apply, but I assume training across all TOC's is stagnated and it will be another pool vacancy. Sod's Law dictates that if I got it and took it, I would get a call from SWR a few months down the line with a start date. Thanks again.
 

387star

On Moderation
Joined
16 Nov 2009
Messages
6,226
It would be interesting to know if the Conductor Role with GWR has a start date or if it's a pool vacancy.

I'm kind of interested in applying for it but, if I got it, and I was on course then got a long awaited start date for Commercial Guard would I be able to pull out and start with SWR instead what with them both being First Group.

I'm desperate to get out of the industry I'm currently in and get started on the Trains, but would it even be ethical to start with one TOC then leave when in training or approaching full productivity for another one.

Advice anyone please..
I think actual known vacancies rarely exist anymore with almost every vacancy a 'pool' vacancy
When Trainee Driver was advertised internally at Fratton for the first time in a decade in 2015 the advert mentioned possible vacancies. Whilst applicants waited months in other pools within weeks three trainees started! Railway recruitment is unpredictable.

If you get the Fratton job wity GWR I'd stay if I were you. Guards are more secure there with no plan for dispatch control to be lost to Drivers and it's a better route than London with leisure travel picking up well. Leaving part way in would be utterly absurd and detrimental to your career
 
Joined
22 Jun 2020
Messages
73
Location
Portsmouth
I think actual known vacancies rarely exist anymore with almost every vacancy a 'pool' vacancy
When Trainee Driver was advertised internally at Fratton for the first time in a decade in 2015 the advert mentioned possible vacancies. Whilst applicants waited months in other pools within weeks three trainees started! Railway recruitment is unpredictable.

If you get the Fratton job wity GWR I'd stay if I were you. Guards are more secure there with no plan for dispatch control to be lost to Drivers and it's a better route than London with leisure travel picking up well. Leaving part way in would be utterly absurd and detrimental to your career
Thank you for your insight and for taking the time to post it. I've decided to wait it out with SWR, not only because of the 10k less with GWR, but mainly not being sure that if I failed the OPC with GWR it would negate my successful application with SWR. Thanks again
 

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