Very few job vacancies arise within the London Underground, for tube drivers. When they do arise, it’s rare that you’ll find recruitment campaigns running publicly.
Most recruiting is done internally, and there is a reason for that. The diverse range of challenges in the Underground differs. Any job is demanding and it takes a bit of getting used to, when trying to adapt to the different environment.
There has been outbound recruitment for staff before, put into the training to become a tube driver, but outside recruitment did see a number of people either not pass the initial screening exams, or into the training but couldn’t adapt to the job requirements.
Internal recruitment helps keep the cost of training down, due to staff leaving, and the retention of the staff who are trained, are able to further their careers. It makes more sense to have someone with a proven working knowledge of the London Underground, as they’ll know the demands facing them. The London Underground service transports millions of city residents, as well as visitors from all around the world.
To service the demand, the LU requires its service to be of world-class standards. In an effort to produce leading staff, working to serve passengers to the best of their abilities, full training is provided. It’s accessible earlier than most studies are for further education, as you can access training at the age of 16 years old.
This is an apprenticeship scheme put in place to fill the training needs for staff working on the Underground Tube system. You can’t work in any position until you’re 18 years of age, due to operational licence restrictions.
However, you can enter the apprenticeship scheme at the age of 16, and be ready to start operating upon completion of the apprenticeship. You will start your career as an operations member of staff, primarily working as a customer service assistant. (CSA)
The training won’t stop there, as there is an age gap in the personnel. This has lead to the apprenticeship scheme being geared towards the 16-18 year old age group. The scheme lets the current staff, train new recruits based on their lifetime wealth of knowledge, passing their expertise onto the next generation of
The training is for a career devoted to the London Underground. In essence, before you can become a tube driver, you’re going to have to earn the right, and you do that with your professional team working abilities, keeping the London Underground running smoothly, and maintaining a world-class service.
As the scheme is currently closed, (May 2013), it’s worth keeping an eye on the “official Transport for London” site @ Tfl.gov.uk. The earlier you get into the London Transport System in any role, the better your prospects will be to become a tube driver. You need to develop a working knowledge of the transport system first, be able to meet the demands of the job, and progress your career from within.
On the rare occasions there are outside recruitment campaigns happening, they will be for customer service roles, where you’ll start your career, and gain training when you’re on the job, learning from experienced staff.