WMT - Any risk of Redundancies

Dan61

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Morning

I am about to start WMT on 5th July at New St as a trainee driver. Just wondering if there has been any talk of potential redundancies etc in the future due to the passenger levels caused by Covid. Leaving a pretty secure job so just have a little nerves.
Are the positions to cover retirements or to increase the number of drivers due to passenger levels prior to covid.

Secondly is there a long wait after completing the classroom training to start driving with an instructor for New St Positions.

Any information from people inside would be appreicated.
 
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se99db

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It's definitely a worrying time for most industries in terms of job security. I would say you have to remember that 'training lag' means TOC's have to be a little long sighted with driver recruitment as it takes a while to enter service as an operational driver. By the time you are operational, it's hoped passenger numbers will be significantly rebounded.

This will give some insight as to reasons regarding the latest recruitment drive.


Hope this helps to alleviate some concerns
 

159147

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Morning

I am about to start WMT on 5th July at New St as a trainee driver. Just wondering if there has been any talk of potential redundancies etc in the future due to the passenger levels caused by Covid. Leaving a pretty secure job so just have a little nerves.
Are the positions to cover retirements or to increase the number of drivers due to passenger levels prior to covid.

Secondly is there a long wait after completing the classroom training to start driving with an instructor for New St Positions.

Any information from people inside would be appreicated.
that was always a worry of mine with WMT, especially New Street after speaking with current managers. Its a turbulent time for sure which will most likely be followed by a recession, but hey, what job isn't a risk nowadays, with the exception of the public sector probably.
 

trundlewagon

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Even with the reduced service levels at the moment, there's still a massive reliance on overtime (and jobs still ending up uncovered). I wouldn't worry too much about it.
 

185

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Poaching. No, not fish....

Example
- Signor Benito Avantolino does not want to pay to train drivers.

So, he steals recruits qualified experienced drivers from local firms, offers a higher salary so always plenty of applicants.

He does actually recruit & train up some new drivers, though only a handful per year, just to tick a box - whilst his other 90% of recruits have come from other train companies.

Permanently leaves shortages at local firms, WMT, Northern etc.

There are no long term plans to reduce train services, indeed only today John Armitt from the NIC told government (BBC Business Web Article, 08:47) they needed to maintain current levels as this is key to rebuilding the economy post pandemic with an expected bounce-back of passenger numbers.
 

Starmill

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Compulsory redundancy affecting driving grades anywhere in the industry seems very unlikely I would say, especially so at a passenger operator, on government contract and based in a major location.

However, it's good to be aware of the overall financial context which the industry finds itself in, which is weak and as yet not showing great signs of adapting rapidly to new trading circumstances. There is also government support for the industry on a very broad base currently, despite a relatively 'hawkish' attitude towards public spending in Number 11. There is, of course, time to change yet, and much that we don't know and cannot predict about even the medium term. It may also be worthwhile taking some time to consider what your stance might be over any hypothetical (exclusively) pay-related industrial dispute.

The matter will likely be different for front line non-driving grades. This however still does not mean that it would be likely to come to compulsory redundancy.
 
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Jon1930

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Morning

I am about to start WMT on 5th July at New St as a trainee driver. Just wondering if there has been any talk of potential redundancies etc in the future due to the passenger levels caused by Covid. Leaving a pretty secure job so just have a little nerves.
Are the positions to cover retirements or to increase the number of drivers due to passenger levels prior to covid.

Secondly is there a long wait after completing the classroom training to start driving with an instructor for New St Positions.

Any information from people inside would be appreicated.
For new st you will be looking at 18 months I'd say until you start driving with a instructor this is due to the backlog. There are trainee drivers for new st who have been sat home for 13 months now and still no indication when they will be back.
 

whoosh

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I think you'd be okay as a driver.
If services are reduced by a significant amount there would likely first be:

•Voluntary Redundancies - attractive to those near to retirement,
•Negotiations to soak up too high a number of drivers by looking to bring Sundays into the working week - all Sunday work is overtime at WMT at present.
•Negotiations to reduce the working week, so more people kept their jobs.

All before it would get around to you being compulsorily made redundant.

Nowhere is 100% secure to work into the future, but the railway is still a pretty good bet.
 

Horizon22

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If you're about to start I would take this as positive. There are probably hundreds (many on these forums!) in endless talent pools who are likely to be (or have already been) in their for months/years with no guarantee of a positioi going forward. As others have mentioned there will always be some natural churn in drivers, but it is feasible the rate of recruitment may decrease in future. That being said there will be a signficant chunk retiring in the next few years having been hired around the privatisation boom in the 90s.
 

TheEdge

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You are probably fairly safe. I think the only redundancies (if any) the driving grade will see will be voluntary and if that happens that opportunity will probably be snapped up by people with only a few years left anyway.
 

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12guard4

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No you won't be made redundant. I think 18 months sat at home will be a minimum, there will probably be 50 trainees in front of you.
With WMT they want a Saturday service on a Sunday so need Sundays in the working week so need a massive influx is needed for this.
 

Coach Carter

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I’d imagine that’s just new street as we have loads at Worcester and new street is way bigger
 

Jon1930

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Is that 50 for new street or across the board
I would say that is most likely just new st, I know another course started last week and 5 on there are also for new st. The instructor situation at the moment is crazy as its voluntary. I know some trainees who are sat at home have taken on a cash in hand job because they're so bored.
 

Dan61

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I was going to ask that, if after the classroom training you are spent home due to the lack of DI's can you take on another part time job to save you getting bored, what is WMT stance on it. As like you said if ill be sitting at home fo 18 months after the classroom training, 1) I would get bored very easily and 2) I would be concerned that if there were any reundancies the people they will look at first are the trainees at home.
 

Coach Carter

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What's the current DI availability like at Worcester @Coach Carter? Is there much of a backlog?
To be honest there’s not a lot of DI’s.
There’s 7 of us still at home waiting to get a DI (14 months at home now and had been waiting 2 months for a DI before the pandemic struck) and some of our group told it’s unlikely they will be back in this side of Christmas. Then as far as I’m aware there are 2 current courses running for Worcester at the academy and another 2 groups set to start at academy between now and start of July. It is what it is though. Nobody’s fault and not a lot can be done about it, Covid made a right mess of things.
Just knuckle down and do well with the academy stuff and then it’s just a case of being patient even though it is really frustrating.
 

Jon1930

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I was going to ask that, if after the classroom training you are spent home due to the lack of DI's can you take on another part time job to save you getting bored, what is WMT stance on it. As like you said if ill be sitting at home fo 18 months after the classroom training, 1) I would get bored very easily and 2) I would be concerned that if there were any reundancies the people they will look at first are the trainees at home.
I don't think they've told WMT incase they say no. More concerned about their own mental health looking at the same 4 walls each day.
 

se99db

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To be honest there’s not a lot of DI’s.
There’s 7 of us still at home waiting to get a DI (14 months at home now and had been waiting 2 months for a DI before the pandemic struck) and some of our group told it’s unlikely they will be back in this side of Christmas. Then as far as I’m aware there are 2 current courses running for Worcester at the academy and another 2 groups set to start at academy between now and start of July. It is what it is though. Nobody’s fault and not a lot can be done about it, Covid made a right mess of things.
Just knuckle down and do well with the academy stuff and then it’s just a case of being patient even though it is really frustrating.
Wow, didn't realise it was that bad across the whole of WMT, how long does the classroom section take (before you would be sent home)?
 

12guard4

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50 at New street I've been told. Other things to consider are covid measures in place at mess rooms. There is a limit of numbers so bringing in a trainees quickly fills up mess room spaces for other train crew who are having breaks
 

159147

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I'm starting with another toc soon and I'm having backup plan, and absolutely would if i got into WMT. i think in these turbulent times it is prudent to keep yourself protected, the whole new street business concerned me, i simply don't understand what they are doing hiring more and more people when they cant process them. my feeling was that such an outlandish and clear waste of money would be spotted and rectified at some point my senior management. for new street, they could skip a years recruitment and save all the wasted wages and still have enough people. just protect yourself so you have something to fall back on if the worst happens.
 

Coach Carter

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Wow, didn't realise it was that bad across the whole of WMT, how long does the classroom section take (before you would be sent home)?
Should take about 3-4 months normally depending on if you need to do traction conversion courses at the end. Think it’s all taking longer at the academy at the moment though with restrictions in place.
I wouldn’t stress about it, they need all the drivers they are taking on so they can get back up to speed quickly when stuffs back to normal. It may take a long time to get to the point of being qualified but other than that I really don’t think you need to be worried about things. Just enjoy it guys, you’ve worked hard to get here.
 

JasonD

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Hi All, is there any update on the above? I’m due to start training in September and wondere if the shortage of DI that you all talk about has begun improving?
 
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SJN

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I should started September but I've refused due to the unknown job situations I wasn't leaving a permanent role to this
Back again? As we all know you never passed the tests first attempt or the sift on the 2nd. You’ve never been offered a job to be able to refuse it. You’re making yourself look very silly.
 

se99db

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Anyone who actually wants and goes through the process of a driving grade job, does the psychometrics and actually passes, multiple interviews and medicals over a 12 month + process doesn't refuse a job offer by choice!
 
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Jon1930

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Hi All, is there any update on the above? I’m due to start training in September and wondere if the shortage of DI that you all talk about has begun improving?
Depends what depot, if you're down for Birmingham New Street then it's going to be a long long wait as at the moment I've only seen 1 trainee out and about and I've been told there are around 40 sat at home for Birmingham New Street!
 

ggbrf

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Depends what depot, if you're down for Birmingham New Street then it's going to be a long long wait as at the moment I've only seen 1 trainee out and about and I've been told there are around 40 sat at home for Birmingham New Street!
Is that just trainees ??
 

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