ASLEF condemns Abellio 'disgraceful' recruitment

21 October 2015

ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has condemned Abellio, the privatised train operating company which runs the ScotRail franchise, for a ‘disgraceful and insulting’ email the firm has sent to staff applying for a train driver’s job with the company. Kevin Lindsay, the union’s organiser in Scotland, said: ‘This email is as extraordinary as it is insensitive. The fact that senior executives in the recruitment team at Abellio ScotRail think this sort of attitude, and behaviour, is acceptable boggles the mind. And it’s exactly this sort of bullying and dismissive attitude which has led to staff moral plummeting. Abellio needs to explain why they think this is the sort of email to send to loyal, hard-working staff whose application to become a driver has been unsuccessful.’

This the Abellio email in full:

Subject: Application(s) for Trainee Train Driver

Dear Sir/Madam,

Application(s) for Trainee Train Driver

I refer to the above subject, and regret to advise your application(s) has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Train driving is a very demanding role which requires a certain type of person. It is a role which can be rewarding as well as unforgiving. It also comes with a very good pay package. This makes it very important to look at applications in great detail.

Having reviewed your application(s), I would recommend you read over it and ask yourself the following questions:

- Have I communicated that I understand what it takes to be a train driver, but also that I have the transferable skills?
- Have I demonstrated my enthusiasm, determination and commitment to this role?
- Have I shown that I have put a great deal of thought into this application and given the reader the opportunity to learn about me?
- Does my application demonstrate / reflect the amount of effort I have made to prepare for this role?

For this recruitment campaign, we received over 1,130 internal applications as well as the thousands we receive from external candidates. All internal applications were reviewed by a panel of Driver Managers and compared in terms of their presentation, content, quality and responses to the questions.

The application form is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your desire to besuccessful in becoming a train driver. In this respect, your application was not considered to be of the high standard that we require in terms of either:

- The content of the application form was below the general standard.
- Transferable key skills and abilities were not identified. The form did not clearly demonstrate your understanding of the train driver role or the transferable skills that are required.

The panel felt that the content and/or the transferable skills mentioned in the application form did not fully demonstrate the level of commitment or suitability to this role.

Should you wish to apply in the future, I suggest the following:

- Start by researching the role of driver, gain an understanding of the skills and qualities required and clearly identify how you match these.
- Consider the effort you put into the process and how much you want the role.
- Don't underestimate the role or its responsibilities.
- Where the application form asks for information, ensure that you respond to the question appropriately and directly.

I wish you every success in the future.

Kind Regards,

Recruitment Team
Abellio ScotRail

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