HomeHigh Speed RailCareers and Recruitment Roundup

Careers and Recruitment Roundup

Listen to this article

The industry is always calling out for new recruits. whether it’s to fill positions on major projects, ensure customers get the best service on trains and at stations, or keep staff and passengers safe across the network, there are thousands of roles available. RailStaff looks over the latest careers and recruitment news.

Full steam ahead for ScotRail

ScotRail is steaming into 2024 with scores of vacancies set to be filled as part of its biggest recruitment drive in years.

The train operator has already recruited more than 200 new members of staff since August 2024, with the human resources team working hard to keep the business on track to fill vacancies.

New and improved catering services have been boosted with an additional 34 catering staff hired across the network.

Almost 30 new conductors have passed through training to support service reliability, over 30 engineers recruited, and 100 new frontline staff members to offer enhanced customer service and support revenue protection.

Credit: ScotRail

The new year has seen that activity continue, with a focus on more conductors in January, and many other exciting roles that will help to improve services and reliability for customers. ScotRail expects to recruit a further 160 people before the end of March 2024, with roles such as drivers, conductors, ticket examiners, and engineers.

With customer numbers on the rise, and timetable improvements delivering more journeys and newer electric trains, there has never been a better time to join Scotland’s Railway.

Julie Dale, ScotRail HR director, said: “This is a very exciting time for ScotRail and we are looking forward to building on a fantastic few months of recruitment, by filling even more roles in the New Year.

“Our team has been working flat-out to recruit candidates for some of the best jobs in Scotland.

“But we won’t be stopping there, and we will be providing more people with the fantastic opportunity to secure a career in the railway industry in the weeks and months ahead.

“These high-value jobs, ranging from train drivers, to travel-safe officers tackling anti-social behaviour, boost the Scottish economy and provide an overall higher quality of service to our customers.”

Siemens Mobility snaps up factory staff

Siemens Mobility has recruited 35 new employees in the first major wave of recruitment for its state-of-the-art trains manufacturing facility in Goole as it prepares to begin production this spring.

This first major wave of recruitment will be followed by scores of further roles that will be available over coming months across multiple functions.

Mark Speed, site director and general manager of Siemens Mobility in Goole, said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time for the project with the recruitment programme moving forward strongly ahead of production starting in 2024.

“We’re absolutely delighted with the calibre of recruits and they’ve already hit the ground running. They will all have an important part to play in the success of this pioneering project.

“This is just the first in a series of waves of recruitment, with many more exciting opportunities opening up over coming months. Those positions will all be posted on the careers section of the Siemens website as they become available, so we’re urging people to register on the careers site and save alerts for Goole to ensure they are aware of the jobs as soon as they come out.”

Credit: Siemens Mobility UK

The global rail technology firm is investing up to £200 million in developing the facility in the East Yorkshire town, where it is creating up to 700 skilled jobs, as well as generating around 1,700 new employment opportunities in the supply chain.

Rolling stock for the UK train market will be manufactured at the factory, starting with new Piccadilly line tube trains for Transport for London. The factory is the centrepiece of a wider rail village, featuring a train components servicing facility, a materials and logistics warehouse, and a research, development and innovation cluster, establishing Goole as a centre of excellence for rail technology in the UK.

The latest team members have a broad range of backgrounds, with Siemens Mobility keen to hire people with relevant, transferable skills, rather than just those specifically with experience in the rail industry. They include individuals with backgrounds in modular construction and the armed forces, among others, reflecting this focus on skills and expertise that can be applied successfully to the new roles.

As a responsible employer, Siemens Mobility is committed to equality and diversity, including gender balance across all its operations. It offers flexible employment to help its staff manage their work-life balance, along with training and development programmes to support career progression.

Niraj Sondhi, commercial director for Siemens Mobility in Goole, said: “Here at Siemens Mobility, we offer careers, not just jobs. We look after our people and support them in their professional development.

“We’re also strongly committed to playing our full part in supporting the local community, above and beyond the investment we’re making in our new facilities and the jobs we’re creating.

“Siemens Mobility is a global company operating in the heart of East Yorkshire and we’re proud to be a part of the Goole community.”

Northern seeks engineers of the future

Northern Trains has launched a campaign to attract the next generation of engineers.

Engineering apprentices are being sought at five locations across the north of England to learn as they earn while working on and maintaining Northern’s nearly 400 strong fleet of trains.

These rare and exciting opportunities are likely to attract thousands of interested applicants and Northern is looking for candidates that have a ‘can do’ attitude, are great at problem solving, and have a questioning mind.

Modern trains are increasingly complex and full of advanced technology offering a rewarding opportunity in a multitude of roles for keen and talented individuals.

The 18 Rail Engineering Apprentice roles will be spread across maintenance depots in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Hull, and Heaton in Newcastle, and come with a starting salary of around £17,500 per year.

Credit: Northern

The successful applicants will undertake a four-year training programme and achieve a Level 3 qualification in Rail Engineering Technician on Traction and Rolling Stock.

The apprenticeship scheme has been developed in partnership with the National Training Academy for Rail and Myerscough College in Preston. 

For the first two years of the course, apprentices will spend three half terms living and studying in Myerscough College which offers a space to study, mix with your fellow apprentices, and a place to relax and unwind.

On completion of their qualification, apprentices will be qualified with the necessary experience to apply for a variety of different roles, including Maintenance Engineer, Team Leader, or Technical Engineer. 

Jack Commandeur, engineering director for Northern commented on the apprenticeship opportunities: “A regular in-take of apprentices is important to help nurture the next generation of railway engineers and engineering leaders.

“In these roles, the apprentices can develop their skills and experience in an environment that speaks to their passion for science and technology.

“We’re looking for people with a keen interest in mechanical, electrical and systems engineering and a strong desire to work hard to achieve success. We expect you to be passionate about your future career and be happy to carry on learning – our Apprenticeship Scheme takes dedication, enthusiasm, and personal commitment to complete.  

“There will be a lot of permanent opportunities after you are qualified and many of our past apprentices are now enjoying rewarding and successful careers across our business.”

Presentation staff in demand

Northern is also holding a recruitment day for a number of vacancies in its train presentation team at Heaton Train Care Centre in Tyne & Wear.

Credit: Northern

The event, on Tuesday 13 February, will give people interested in working for the train operator the opportunity to hear more about the work that takes place at depot as well as have a tour of the facility.

There will then be group assessments and individual interviews for roles including train presentation operatives and train presentation leaders.

Richard Holt, head of train presentation for Northern, said: “It’s a near-military operation to keep our fleet of trains to the high standard we’ve set ourselves in the post-lockdown world.

“We have hundreds of colleagues spread across the network – at stations and train care centres – and we’re always looking for new people to join the team to ensure our trains always look their best.”

Government and HS2 help more into work

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has joined forces with HS2 to invest in three new dedicated Recruitment Hubs for the project in the West Midlands.

They will aim to capitalise on continuing employment opportunities generated by the high-speed railway which is being built between the West Midlands and London.

It comes as new figures show that HS2’s construction is already changing lives and helping thousands of unemployed people to start new careers with long-term prospects.

The data shows that 4,020 people who were unemployed for 26 weeks or more have gone on to secure jobs on Britain’s new railway.

With new stations in Birmingham and Solihull, the network control centre and depot in Washwood Heath, and the HQ for HS2 Ltd in Birmingham city centre, it’s little wonder the West Midlands has benefitted from an explosion of opportunities since early works began on the new rail network in 2017.

Credit: HS2

Over a third of the entire workforce helping to deliver HS2 are based at worksites in the West Midlands, and thousands more jobs are still to be created locally as work to build Curzon Street Station, Interchange Station and the Washwood Heath campus gathers momentum in 2024.

HS2’s construction partner for Interchange Station, Laing O’Rourke, has confirmed it will need up to 1,000 people to deliver the project, while Mace Dragados, building Curzon Street, estimate over 1,000 jobs – including an estimated 150 new entrant roles, including apprenticeship positions and opportunities earmarked for unemployed people.

Speaking at an event to mark the opening of the new HS2 Recruitment Hub in Washwood Heath, West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street welcomed the investment and subsequent employment boost for the region.

He said: “I welcome DWP and HS2 joining forces to invest in three new, strategically located, dedicated Recruitment Hubs. I look forward to seeing local people right across our region continue to benefit from the apprenticeship and employment opportunities created from the development of this high-speed rail link between the West Midlands and London. It is a project that is set to boost economic growth here in the West Midlands in the months and years ahead.”

Natalie Penrose, HS2’s Head of Legacy added: “HS2 is all about changing lives and creating new opportunities and years before the first trains arrive in the region, it’s evident what a difference this project is making.

“There are lots of exciting milestones on the horizon, and we’re focused on ensuring that even more people who are out of work benefit from the opportunities ahead.”

Main image credit: iStockphoto.com