While sitting in the cab of brand-new trains may be a big draw for some drivers, others will be more interested in another major project the industry has quietly been getting on with: the Train Drivers Academy.
Each year 100s will graduate from the Train Drivers Academy but none will everpass through its doors as the academy only exists online.
Kirsty Derry, East Midlands Trains‘ human resources director, who is also chair of the Train Drivers Academy, welcomed rail minister Andrew Jones to Derby inNovember, to introduce him to a special cohort of nine new apprentice drivers.
Applicable to passenger, freight and depot train drivers as well as on-track machine operators, the level 3 apprenticeship standard replaces the level 2 railservices framework which, according to East Midlands Trains, no longer meets the level of competence required for a train driver.
Academy members Southeastern and East Midlands Trains have recently announced their efforts to encourage more women to become train drivers by introducing such practices as anonymous candidate screening and advertising campaigns targeting women.
“Although we attract a lot of people to become train drivers, it doesn’t appeal to everybody. The aim is to have a website to improve the attraction across the board,” said Phil, explaining how the Train Drivers Academy’s website will support this drive.
Phil has worked with passenger operators over the last year to make the Train Drivers Academy a reality.