Stampede for Northern rail jobs

Thousands of people want to be train drivers
Thousands of people want to be train drivers

A record amount of people – nearly 54,000 – have applied to work for Arriva Rail North (Northern) in the past 12 months.

The revelation comes ironically after the troubled operator was stripped of its franchise to run trains.

A Government-backed new company Northern Rail Ltd took over on Sunday (March 1) – with all current employees moving over under transfer of undertakings legislation.

With 593 vacancies advertised by Northern, that equates to an average of almost 100 applicants for every job.

More than 6,000 people now work for Northern in locations across the north of England – an increase of 800 permanent roles since Arriva became the owner of Northern in 2016.

One of the biggest increases has been in the number of train drivers who work at Northern since 2016, with a 32 per cent rise to nearly 2,000 train drivers.

It is also one of the most popular roles among job applicants, with hundreds of applications for every vacancy.

Richard Allan, Deputy Managing Director at Northern, said: “Northern is a major contributor to the economy of the north as an employer and customer for many local businesses.

“As well as carrying a record number of customers in 2019 – getting people across the region where they need to be – Northern has created 800 new jobs during Arriva’s ownership.

“We are proud to be a major employer in many major towns and cities and to have given so many people the chance to join us and build a career in the rail industry.”

Northern is also supporting jobs in the North through the company’s ongoing £600m modernisation programme.

The new operator will work with local leaders, industry and passenger representatives to deliver a plan for improvements after the first 100 days.

The Government has also announced that overcrowding on Northern’s network will be a priority.