NEWS | West Midlands Trains calls for greater train driver diversity as it launches latest recruitment drive

West Midlands Trains is hoping to encourage greater diversity amongst train drivers as it launches its latest recruitment drive today (Thursday 25th June). 

The rail company, which operates West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway, is looking for new train drivers across its network who will commence from 2021. 

Applications are now open for its highly sought-after train driver apprenticeship scheme, which sees all applicants go through a thorough testing process. Successful candidates will then enter a talent pool and be offered a position, which will involve a minimum of 12 months training. 

Although the application and training process is rigorous, there is high demand for train driver job openings given the rewards and benefits the role brings. 

Acknowledging a lack of diversity amongst the train driving workforce, West Midlands Trains is hoping to encourage more women and people of BAME backgrounds to apply for the scheme.  

In order to be considered for the scheme, applicants must meet a strict criteria, including living within a 60-minute travel time to their work depot. 

Jo MacPhail, HR director at West Midlands Trains, says: “We’re really excited to launch our latest recruitment drive today and proud that we’re able to offer career opportunities in these uncertain times.

“Train driving is a challenging but hugely satisfying and rewarding job, which is why we’re inundated with applications each time we go live.

“It’s always fantastic to see such an interest in our train driving roles but we also recognise the lack of diversity within the rail industry. As such, we’re committed to making our train driving workforce more reflective of the communities it serves.”  

West Midlands Trains is committed to being more diverse and inclusive and has enhanced its family friendly policies, flexible working opportunities and inclusion initiatives across the business. It has achieved Investors in Diversity accreditation through the National Centre for Diversity and is Investors in People Gold accredited. 

In addition to a highly competitive salary, West Midlands Trains offers a comprehensive range of benefits including: free travel on Abellio trains for employees, their partners and dependent children; 75% discount on all other train travel over most of the UK rail network; development opportunities to help further your career with West Midlands Trains; and a contributory defined salary pension.  

Shameka, a driver manager at West Midlands Trains, says: “I was a driver and a driving instructor for a short period and now I’m a driving manager. 

“Being female and having an ethnic minority background within the driver team doesn’t mean I’m treated any differently. I love being part of the driver function and I’m proud to work with such a great team.

“I’d encourage any women who are thinking of moving into the role to go for it – you won’t regret it! I’d love to see more females within the train driving industry.”

To find out more about the role criteria or to apply, please visit https://bit.ly/3dsadyM. The closing date for applications is Thursday 9 July but candidates are advised to act quickly as the portal may close earlier if significant volumes of interest are received.