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Southeastern trains recruits more than 100 drivers on £50,000 a year

Kent’s biggest train operator is recruiting hundreds of extra staff to deal with a rise in passenger numbers, which are expected to rocket over the next five years.

Southeastern claims the number of rail journeys have doubled over the past 20 years, with almost 190 million journeys made across the network every year.

To help cope with the extra demand, more than 100 new drivers are being enrolled onto an extensive training programme to prepare them for the task of carrying commuters to work and school.

Watch: Hear from a trainee driver

With an average salary of around £50,000, the train company doesn’t struggle to fill driver vacancies and competition for the role is fierce.

Mark Medley, head of training at Southeastern, said the training has become more advanced in recent years.

He added: “It’s a long process which includes a tough assessment process to get onto the scheme.

“We’ve seen a massive intake of new drivers over the past couple of years and with the train service increasing there’s a need for more and more staff.”

Millions of passengers travel by train every year
Millions of passengers travel by train every year

Some 112 rookies have been through a series of practical tests on Southeastern’s fleet of state-of-the-art simulators at its training centre in Ashford, with that number expected to double next year.

New recruits are taught about track safety, customer service as well as what to do in an emergency.

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