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15,000 people apply for 78 Virgin Trains driver jobs

Rebecca Smith
It's full steam ahead for the company's recruitment team, who now have to wade through 15,000 applications
It's full steam ahead for the company's recruitment team, who now have to wade through 15,000 applications (Source: Virgin Trains)

More than 15,000 people have applied to drive Virgin's new Azuma trains, after the rail operator launched its biggest recruitment drive on the east coast route since the 1980s. And there were only 78 positions up for grabs.

There hasn't been quite so much excitement over a job listing since Tesco advertised for a Christmas tree lights untangler ahead of the festive rush last year.

The huge response, which works out at nearly 200 applicants per post, comes as Virgin Trains gears up for the launch of the new fleet in 2018. Spare a thought for the Virgin Trains talent team - they've now got to sift through the piles of applications after the closing date (mercifully) arrived for them last Friday.

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The 78 new drivers will work from depots between London and Edinburgh and will start a year-long development programme in January of next year.

A Virgin Trains spokesperson said: "We have received a huge amount of interest in this fantastic opportunity at Virgin Trains on its east coast route. Those who have been successful in getting through the first stages of the process will be invited to attend a selection day which will include a variety of assessments and exercises that will bring the best talent into our business."

Read more: Why PwC's head of people wants firms to try harder with recruitment

When the 65 Azuma trains, which are built in the UK by Hitachi, launch in 2018, they will be among the most advanced trains on the UK's rail network.

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