SWR Trainee Recruitment 2021

C00k1e

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Joined
20 Feb 2020
Messages
18
Location
Fareham
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!
 
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Bigfoot

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Joined
2 Dec 2013
Messages
865
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

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2020
Messages
94
Location
London
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

Member
Joined
20 Feb 2020
Messages
18
Location
Fareham
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

Member
Joined
4 Nov 2019
Messages
9
Location
Bournemouth
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

Member
Joined
20 Feb 2020
Messages
18
Location
Fareham
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.
 

djack123son

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Joined
31 Mar 2020
Messages
51
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.
 

Bigfoot

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Joined
2 Dec 2013
Messages
865
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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Joined
20 Feb 2020
Messages
18
Location
Fareham
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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Joined
20 Feb 2020
Messages
18
Location
Fareham
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?
 
Last edited:
Joined
22 Jun 2020
Messages
37
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
6
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.
 

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
37
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
7
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
37
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
5
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
2,265
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
37
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
6
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
37
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
5
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
6
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.
 

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