27 March 2023
Train operator seeks to address recruitment balance following recent roadshows at shopping centres.
Elizabeth Ward, Driver Manager, in a train cab (GREATER ANGLIA)
Greater Anglia is encouraging women to apply for its latest train driver vacancies as they go live across its network. A total of 14 positions are available at the company, which runs trains between London and Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
Four trainee depot driver roles are being advertised at Clacton, Colchester, Norwich Crown Point and Southend Victoria depots, which involves moving empty trains around so they can be cleaned and maintained and, at certain locations, moving them from the depot to the station ready for service. A further ten trainee mainline driver positions, based at Bishop’s Stortford, Cambridge, Clacton, Colchester, Ilford, Ipswich, London Liverpool Street, Norwich and Southend Victoria are also being advertised and involve driving safely all around the Greater Anglia network.
Driver Manager Elizabeth Ward said: “The role isn’t something that a woman would necessarily think about – I never thought I would be a driver. It wasn’t until I became a conductor in 2012 and saw a woman driving that I thought I would want to do it. It can be a very rewarding career and this job is for anyone. It would be lovely to see more women in the role.
“A safety mindset is the main thing you need. You don’t need to be technically minded, but you need to be able to problem solve and come up with solutions and be methodical too as we do basic fault-finding whenever there’s an issue with a train.
“People think you’re going to get mucky and dirty all the time, but it isn’t the case. We’re interacting with passengers, but you need to like your own company as you’re primarily working alone in the cab. You’re part of a wider team too, though.
“It’s a really rewarding job to know that you’ve got to keep people safe. You work many shifts and get to see beautiful sunrises and sunsets to boot. The moment you’re in the cab at the front of the train, you think ‘wow, I’m driving this.’”
The application process involves undertaking initial assessments at Greater Anglia’s Academy in Stratford, interviews and, if successful, you’ll then spend time in the classroom learning about all the rules and regulations, as well as the intimate detail needed of each train you’ll be driving. Practical train driving lessons and learning the various routes that are driven then follow under the guide of an experienced mentor for around six months before a final assessment.
Dawn Robinson, Greater Anglia’s Head of Talent, Resourcing and Development, said: “Our drivers work all hours to ensure that customers across the East of England can get to their destination safely at all times of the year and in all weathers. The railway is a great place to work, with many benefits. We’d love to see more women apply for the role: these applications are open to everyone.”
The vacancies, closing on March 31, come as Greater Anglia held three recruitment roadshows at shopping centres in Bishop’s Stortford, Hackney and Southend as well as internal ‘female driver taster sessions’ and ‘Aspire to Lead’ events, aimed at attracting more women within the company to apply for under-represented positions. Visit its website for more details on recruitment.