MBN

NEWS

People as young as 18 could become train drivers under government plans

The man who got The Godfather made – by making friends with the Mob
Published Time: 16.05.2024 - 13:41:02 Modified Time: 16.05.2024 - 13:41:02

The current age to become a train driver is 20, but the government said lowering it could open "thousands of opportunities"

The current age to become a train driver is 20, but the government said lowering it could open "thousands of opportunities".

By Claire Gilbody Dickerson, news reporter

Thursday 16 May 2024 11:22, UK

People as young as 18 will be able to get behind the controls of a train as part of a government proposal aimed at boosting staff. 

The plans were announced on Thursday as thousands of train passengers up and down the country have been facing delays and cancellations due to repeated strike action in recent months.

The current age to be able to apply to become a train driver is 20.

The government said "thousands of opportunities could open up for younger people as early as this summer", if the proposal is approved.

Read more:Train strikes: 'Half a decade without a pay increase'Labour promises biggest shake-up of railways 'in a generation'

Lowering the age limit "would build resilience across the railway" as aspiring train drivers could get an apprenticeship upon finishing school and train to join the shrinking workforce, according to the government's proposal.

"With many train drivers set to retire in the next five years and the average age of a train driver being 48 years old, the workforce is projected to shrink without opening up more opportunities for new recruits," the proposal said.


Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

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."

In order to become a licensed train driver, trainees must pass mandatory medical, psychological, fitness and general professional competence exams.

Be the first to get

Install the Sky News app for free

Sky News footer

NEWS