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A search for 200 new train drivers in Wales has attracted over 10,000 applicants in just a few days!

Wales and Borders operator KeolisAmey is creating 200 train driver jobs to help deliver increased services and capacity across the Wales and Borders rail franchise, which Keolis UK operates under its joint venture with Amey – having been awarded a 15-year contract by Transport for Wales in 2018.

The train operator is working with leading recruitment company Acorn and its appeal has already attracted significant interest from across Wales. No previous experience is required for the role, with the 200 successful candidates invited to complete a comprehensive 13-month training programme before qualifying as train drivers.

There are vacancies open across the country, with an emphasis on attracting candidates from across the South Wales Valleys for the area’s new Metro network. The starting salary for the trainee drivers will be £28,000, rising to around £52,000 once fully qualified.

Alistair Gordon.

Chief executive of Keolis UK, Alistair Gordon, said of the investment: “This is 200 additional drivers to help us be able to run the new timetables.

“It takes about two years to train a train driver so we are now starting the recruitment so we can do the batches ready for new timetables and new trains.”

Keolis’ driver training programme looks at three key elements, with the first seeing successful recruits learning about railway safety. After that, Alistair Gordon explained: “They will then do purely route knowledge so making sure they know the route they are going to run on and things like where they turn a corner and where there are signals. They then do traction which is learning about the train.

“So, it is not until a year into their training that they are assigned to a specific area. Often, we assign them to a depot to start as we don’t want people in Wrexham, say, working in Canton [Cardiff]. If they are in a depot, they know the types of trains they are going to be driving.”

“We do know that a lot of the drivers are male and are always looking to encourage more balance,” he continued. “It’s a very attractive career, and through offering things like flexible hours and basing roles right across the country we hope to attract applications from a wider cross section of society.”