60 Second Interview: Apprentice conductor

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train tracks

Dale is training to become a conductor on his rail services apprenticeship with TransPennine Express. He loves meeting new people and how his 'office' is always on the move.

Name: Dale Jarvis

Company: TransPennine Express

Industry: Rail, Transport

What is your job? Apprentice conductor

How long have you been doing this job? 1 year and 10 months


NVQ Level 2&3 Rail Services

1. What was your very first job?

This is my first job.  

2. What did you want to do when you were at school?

When I left school I wanted to join the Royal Air Force, but then studied 3D Animation and Computer Game Design.

3. How did you find out about the industry?

My dad has been on the railway since he was 16. I knew about the rail industry from a very young age.

4. How did you get there?

I applied for the apprenticeship, which took place through the Manchester College. I attended the open evenings and the interviews, and successfully acquired a position as a rail service [conductor] apprentice.

5. What is a typical day like?

I’m in charge of passenger safety on board our services and the safety of our trains. I ensure that the trains’ dispatch procedure is followed correctly and that hazards are avoided at every possible chance. I provide professional customer service on board whilst carrying out revenue protection duties.

6. What’s the best thing about your job?

Meeting new faces every day and how no day is the same as the next. My office is always on the move so I get to see the spectacular views that the North has to offer.

7. What is the most challenging thing about your job?

Ensuring that I maintain a high level of concentration whilst attending to my dispatch duties. If I lose concentration, then this could cause a serious incident.

8. What advice do you have for people who want to do what you do?

For anyone looking at a career as a conductor, I would say that they need to be open-minded, ready for anything that can happen and to be friendly, warm and a great conversationalist. They would have to be passionate problem-solvers and always ready to assist.

9. What things do you wish you’d known before starting your career?

I wish I had more knowledge of the Operational Railway as this is valuable to me and my role as a conductor.

10. Where would you like to be in 5 years?

I’d like to still be happy and successful in whatever role I will be doing at that time, whether it be as a conductor or moving on to another role within the railway.

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