You can apply to join each Train Operating Company separately. Certain operators may only allow you to apply for one location at once.

20. Some operators may let you apply beforehand, provided you’ll be 20 before you commence employment.

Whilst some operators may ask for additional qualifications, GCSEs in Maths and English will be sufficient enough for most. If you don’t have GCSEs in English and Maths, you’ll usually be required to take a basic numeracy and literacy test.
If you do not have the required GSESs to enrol on to a Train Driver Level 3 apprenticeship you’ll need to take a Functional or Key Skills qualification at either Level 1 or Level 2 as a part of your apprenticeship.

Apply via your local operator’s website. Find who runs trains near you

Yes you can! A good level of both spoken and written English is key to being a safe and professional Train Driver though. Operators will assess this during the recruitment process.

Training generally takes 12 to 18 months, depending on which Train Operating Company employs you. For more details about training, click

Your initial classroom based training will primarily be during office hours, although you may be required to stay away from home for prolonged periods.
When you’re learning practical skills on depots or with experienced Drivers, you’ll be expected to work first thing in the morning, last thing at night, weekends and sometimes nights..

Yes – you’ll be employed as a Trainee Driver at your chosen operator. Training salaries vary between £19,000 and £28,000 a year.

Employers want their Trainee Drivers to succeed and will provide all the support they can to help trainees successfully pass their assessment. The Drivers role is a safety critical therefore only trainees who prove themselves competent can qualify as Drivers.
If you’re deemed as unsuitable, an employer may have no option but to terminate your employment or offer you an alternative position.

Drivers need strong written and verbal communication skills in order to do the job safely and professionally. Employers can make adjustments to assist you in your training. You should make any prospective employer aware of this at the application stage.

Some train operators employ part time drivers. You will need to check when you apply to find out the train operators working patterns.