Saturday, June 22, 2024

UK DfT Submits Proposal to Attract Young Train Drivers

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The UK Department for Transport has submitted a new proposal to consider the lowering of the minimum age for train drivers in Great Britain from 20 to 18.

The newly proposed regulatory amendment, which if approved could be in place by Summer 2024, is part of a wider movement from the government to create more practical apprenticeship opportunities for young people within the UK.

The proposal could build resilience across the railway by creating a new pathway for school leavers to take up apprenticeships and train to join the profession

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Rail Minister Huw Merriman said:

“We want to open the door for young people considering transport as a career, and this proposal could give school-leavers a clear path into the sector.

“By boosting age diversity in the sector and attracting more drivers, we can help support reliable services while creating opportunities for more young people.”

Presently, the rail sector sees a relatively low amount of interest from young people, with the new proposal aiming to reduce the barrier for entry to entice more interest from school-age in order to help tackle large waves of driver retirements by 2030.

Jaqueline Starr, Chief Executive Officer at Rail Delivery Group, said:

“Our railways play a vital role connecting people and communities. Working as a train driver is an incredible career opportunity, and we want to open the door to encourage a wider pool of young people to apply.

“These proposed changes will help us to recruit the next generation of drivers, lowering the average age of the workforce, and helping to ensure a resilient railway for our customers.”

In order to become a train driver in the UK, trainees are required to pass mandatory medical, psychological, fitness and general professional competence examinations, with continuous training, monitoring and supervision forming a large part of candidates’ licensing and certification conditions.

The Department for Transport will continue to work closely with both industry professionals and the Office of Rail and Road in order to maintain recruitment, resilience and overall passenger experience.

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