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Trainee Train Driver Apprenticeships

We look for exceptional candidates to join our apprenticeship schemes. Our trainee drivers need to be self-disciplined, and able to work within rules and regulations. They need to be calm even under pressure, focused, vigilant, punctual, and reliable, with a genuine willingness to learn new skills and adapt to change.

We ask a lot of our apprentices, but we offer exceptional training and career prospects in return.

Our driving apprenticeships begin with an intensive three-month training period, covering the key aspects of safety, operations, and driver responsibilities. We also train you to offer exceptional customer service and equip you to respond to the challenges of this rewarding career.

You will need a good level of numeracy and literacy, so will hold GCSE grade C or above in Maths and English (or equivalent), or sit a functional skills test and achieve a level 2 in English, Maths, and ICT, before you take the end-point assessment at the end of your apprenticeship.

Candidates need to be flexible enough to work shifts from the early hours of the morning until late at night, at weekends, and on Bank Holidays, and to be able to get to work for early and late shifts without relying on public transport. This means living within a 45-minute car journey from their place of work.

To apply for a place on Northern’s Driver Apprenticeship Scheme, you should:

  • be at least 20 years of age
  • not have defective colour vision
  • not have failed the Train Driver assessment within the last six months
  • not have failed the Train Driver assessment twice before

Our Trainee Train Driver recruitment process consists of an interview with Northern’s Driver Management Team, based in Leeds. Successful candidates will then be invited to take the RSSB Train Driver Psychometric Assessments, which must be passed to an enhanced standard. And then finally, a safety critical medical that includes a drug and alcohol screen.

Northern has its own in-house Assessment Centre in Leeds, which facilitates Driver Psychometric Assessments for candidates who have applied for Trainee Train Driver roles and who have passed the initial selection stages. The process is designed to identify candidates who match the requirements of the job in terms of aptitude, safety, and behavioural preferences.

All Northern's Assessors are members of the British Psychological Society and are registered with the Office of Road and Rail to carry out train driver assessments to an enhanced industry standard. Northern also provides Psychometric Assessment services to other train operating companies.

All Northern’s Assessors are Members of the British Psychological Society and are registered with the Office of Road and Rail to carry out Train Driver Assessments to the current Industry Standard. We also offer our Psychometric services to other train operating companies within the Rail Industry.

To find out more about the latest Train Driver Apprenticeship standard, please visit the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

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