ASLEF is supporting the new apprenticeship programme, which is part of the National Driver Academy and now underway at the train operator’s academy in Derby.

The rail industry is planning to train more than 1000 drivers next year with all train operators moving to use the new Driver Academy over 2019.

ASLEF welcomes the development of the Level 3 apprenticeship standard – which recognises the skills, knowledge and responsibility that a train driver holds – and building on them in future as they are adopted across the industry as part of our agreed training programmes.

“ASLEF has worked tirelessly for 10 years to see the introduction of apprenticeships for train drivers at Level 3. We look forward to all train and freight operators making this standard available to new employees training to be train drivers, and involving our reps in the process.”

Danielle Brown from Sheffield, who is one of the apprentices, said she had wanted to be a train driver since the age of 10 when she stood on the platform with her mum and saw a High Speed Train whizz past and decided there and then that she wanted to be a train driver.

Tom Perry from Nuneaton, most recently worked as a Train Manager for another train operator, has also wanted to be a train driver from the age of four.

The new Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard replaces the Level 2 Rail Services framework which no longer meets the level of competence required for a train driver in today’s modern world, which has seen the sector move forward at a fast pace with developments in security, digital technology and new traction and rolling stock.