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Become a Dragoman Crew Member!

Are you passionate about travel and always dreamed of a career in the travel industry? Fancy a new challenge in life? Dragoman could have the position for you. We are always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our on road crew as either Leaders or Co-Leader/Mechanics in any of our worldwide destinations.

At Dragoman we take pride in being the leading overland company with a proven track record of hiring hard-working, enthusiastic and dedicated individuals. From the original founders of Dragoman who pioneered many of today's overland routes to the current pool of on-road crew, all share one thing in common - a genuine love of travel.

Our on-road crew are the face of Dragoman, who manage and run the trips that reflect our values and policies as a company. We also have a strong responsible travel policy which we expect our crew to share. It is important to us that we always try to put something back into the areas we visit and that we are involved in a wide range of community-based tourism projects.

It's a tough job - sometimes you will be with your group pretty much 24/7, and working in developing countries can sometimes be frustrating. You will need to be flexible, patient, and able to maintain a positive attitude in even the most challenging circumstances. In return, working for Dragoman will give you the chance to travel the world and have an amazing time in the process!

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for people who have the following personal qualities:

- A positive attitude and enthusiastic manner

- Resourcefulness and the ability to use your initiative and think on your feet in challenging conditions

- A friendly and sociable personality, someone happy to work with all kinds of people

- The ability to develop a rapport with a large, diverse group of individuals

- Good communication and customer service skills

- Excellent logistical and organisational skills

- Flexibility, and the ability to deal with unpredictable challenges

- A good team-player, which is essential for you to work successfully with other crew

- The ability to thrive in a combination of long hours and both physically and mentally challenging conditions

- Belief in the ethos of Dragoman’s Responsible Tourism policies

Please do not apply if you are looking for a short-term working holiday, as we require an initial minimum commitment of 15 months and for you to be looking towards a longer-term commitment of 3 years.

Further details

At Dragoman we recruit differently to other overland companies, mainly in the fact that both of our crew members will drive the trucks (unlike several other companies’ model where you only have one driver and a non-driving leader). We see this as being a much safer and reassuring way to travel (especially on those long drive days), and makes for a more interesting and varied role for both the crew.

Each Dragoman vehicle has 2 Dragoman crew as standard. One crew member takes on the role of Leader, who is responsible for the group, the running of the trip, bookings, and trip accounts. The other crew member takes on the role of Co-Leader/Mechanic, who is responsible for overall truck maintenance and servicing. You will ultimately work together as a team to get all the necessary tasks done and run the trip to be the best it can be.

On trip your passengers will get involved with setting up the camp, pitching tents, shopping for food, and cooking. There are also a number of other group responsibilities that are part of the overlanding lifestyle, such as collecting water and firewood, loading luggage, and helping to keep the truck clean and tidy.

On our trips in East and Southern Africa you will be accompanied by a local cook who will be responsible for the organisation of the kitchen, shopping, and cooking.

For our trips in Central Asia and China you will also be accompanied on the vehicle by a local facilitator to assist with translation and local knowledge.

Job requirements

All new overland crew applicants must fit the following criteria:

- For the purpose of the UK-based training, you must be able to legally work in the UK (either by being a UK/EU passport holder or hold the appropriate visa/work rights).

- All applicants must be a minimum age of 25, due to our Liability Insurance Policy.

- You must be fluent in English. An understanding of foreign languages (especially Spanish, Portuguese or French) is advantageous, though not essential.

- You must hold a current UK/EU PCV coach licence (class D) or equivalent*. If you do not hold the licence at the time of application, you can still apply - but please be aware that if you are successful at the interview stages, you must obtain this at your own expense before coming to Dragoman for training.

- You must hold a valid passport (with over 6 months validity) with at least 20 free pages.

- You must be resourceful and have the ability to use your initiative and think on your feet in challenging conditions.

*If you hold a LGV (UK class C) licence already, you are not required to obtain the PCV (UK class D) as well. 

*If you are a non-UK/EU licence holder, you must have already obtained the licence prior to application and have held this licence for at least 2 years. We would also require you to provide us with driving references to show at least 2 years driving experience under the equivalent licence (equivalent to PCV UK class D, or LGV UK class C).

The Role of Leader

As the Leader, you are responsible for the running of the trip. You must be able to work without direct supervision from the office, and work as a team with your Co-Leader/Mechanic. You are ultimately responsible for offering our clients the holiday of a lifetime. 

For the role of Leader, all applicants must display the following:

Essential

- Outstanding customer service skills.

- Prior travel to any of the destinations we operate tours in (outside the developed world). and/or have participated in overland group travel.

- Experience of using email, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel.

- Excellent communication and leadership skills.

- Excellent organisational skills.

- Ability to work well under pressure.

- Proven problem solving skills.

- Confident 'leading' people.

Desirable

- Prior travel industry experience and/or previous tour leader experience.

- Previous experience living or working overseas.

- Professional driving experience with HGVs or PCVs.

- A second language.

The Role of Co-Leader/Mechanic

As Co-Leader/Mechanic, you are responsible for the general truck maintenance and servicing of the vehicle, and assisting the Leader to run the trip by working together as a team. 

For the role of Co-Leader/Mechanic, all applicants must display the following:

Essential 

- Strong practical skills.

- Motivated and enthusiastic.

- Excellent communication skills.

- Previous travel to any of the destinations we operate tours in (outside the developed world) and/or have participated in overland group travel.

- Proven competence in a customer facing role.

- Experience of using email, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel.

Desirable (any of the following)

- A trade qualification equivalent to NVQ level 2 or higher.

- Experience of working within the trade industry.

- Evidence of previous 'hands on' building or repair projects.

- Professional driving experience with HGVs or PCVs.

Conditions

All overland crew on the road (including trainees) receive a daily living allowance. Once you are a qualified crew member in your role, you will then start to earn a daily wage in addition to the living allowance, plus a performance related bonus of up to GBP1000 in the first year, increasing thereafter.

All flights*, accommodation, visas, passport renewals, malaria tablets, and food whilst camping are covered by Dragoman whilst on contract. An additional food allowance is also paid whilst staying in hotels or in cities in between trips. As a Dragoman employee you are covered by our company medical insurance policy, however we do not cover you for your personal effects.

*Subject to the successful completion of your contract

Debenham

All new overland crew must take part in our intensive 8-week training programme before heading out on the road. The training takes place at our UK headquarters in Suffolk, and accommodation is provided at "The Barns". The Barns also serves as a home-from-home for experienced crew when they are on layover between trips or contracts. Basically it's always there for crew as a place to live whilst employed by Dragoman. Think of it as home!

The Barns has free internet access, television, a variety of DVDs and videos, a selection of books, a payphone, sound system and bathrooms. What more could an overlander ask for? As a trainee you are expected to make sure everything is kept clean and tidy and our environmental policy is carried out.

Dragoman is based in the village of Debenham, Suffolk, where there is a leisure centre, a couple of pubs, a cafe and a variety of shops. The surrounding Suffolk countryside is also great to explore, perfect for walking and cycling, and the coast is not far away either. It’s a very peaceful place, which is ideal for the training before you head out around the world!

The company has a very good relationship with people in the village, so it won't be long before you are recognised around the area. There is a real sense of community spirit in Debenham, and you will soon start to be noticed as a Dragoman employee.

Training

All new Dragoman crew will attend our 8-week comprehensive UK-based training programme, which is regarded as the best in the industry. The programme is tailored to suit both Leaders and Co-drivers, and will give both a very rounded and comprehensive training for both roles. Both will attend the classroom-based training sessions, where you will be trained on areas such as Driver Skills, Customer Service, Leadership Skills, Accounts, and Crisis Management. Both roles will also attend a series of practical workshop sessions, and undertake practical work on our fleet of trucks in the workshop. Both roles will undergo driving training and assessments.

Once you have successfully completed the UK training programme, you will be positioned out on the road as a trainee for up to a period of 6 months working alongside an experienced crew member. After you have successfully completed your on-road training, you will then become either a full Leader or Co-Driver on our trips.

The Application Process

If you've read all of the information provided, and think you fulfil all of our requirements and can demonstrate the qualities we're looking for – then what are you waiting for? If you like the sound of working for us as overland crew, the next step is to complete one of our crew application forms, which can be downloaded here. 

Please note that we do not accept applications without the application forms, so please do not just send your CV.

- Crew application form (click to download)

Please then email your application to recruitment@dragoman.co.uk or post it to Crew Recruitment, Dragoman, Camp Green, Kenton Road, Debenham, Suffolk, IP14 6LA 

Once we've received your completed application form, it will be assessed by our recruitment team who will decide if you are a suitable candidate for the position you have applied for.

If we are interested in meeting you, you'll be invited to visit us at Camp Green in Suffolk for an initial interview. We're a fairly informal office, so casual dress is fine. This is as much a chance for you to find out more about the job role as it is for us to meet you, so you'll be able to ask any questions you might have, as well as having a look around the office and workshop.

In exceptional circumstances (for instance with overseas applicants who would have to travel a very long way to attend an interview in person), we may be able to conduct this initial interview via Skype or by phone. All the application stages after this would, however, require your personal attendance in Suffolk.

If you're successful at this stage you will be asked back for a one-week assessment, which is basically an extended interview. During the one-week you will live and work alongside other trainees and experienced crew. You will be expected to pitch in and help out in the workshop, present a 5 minute presentation to a small audience of people and even partake in a spot of cooking! This one-week assessment gives us a chance to establish your enthusiasm and suitability for the job.

If you pass the one-week extended interview, you will be required to do the following if you have not done so already:

- Obtain a PCV* (UK class D) driving licence.

- Organise your International Driving Permit.

- Obtain a General First Aid certificate valid for 3 years.

- Check your passport has at least 20 clear pages, and replace it if necessary.

- Have any necessary vaccinations.

All of the above must be done at your own cost. However, once you are employed by Dragoman, the company will pay for any subsequent or renewed documentation that is required, e.g. passports.

*If you hold a LGV (UK class C) licence already, you are not required to obtain the PCV (UK class D) also.  

*If you are a non-UK/EU licence holder, you must have already obtained the licence prior to application and have held this licence for at least 2 years. We would also require you to provide us with driving references to show at least 2 years driving experience under the equivalent licence (equivalent to PCV UK class D, or LGV UK class C).

Once you have organised all of this you will return to Dragoman on an agreed intake date to take part in the 8-week training programme.

FAQ

1. What type of driving licence do I need?

We require all new crew to hold a PCV (Category D) bus licence.  However, if you already hold a UK/EU LGV (Category C) truck licence, we will not require you to obtain the PCV as well. 

If you are a non-UK/EU licence holder, you must have already obtained the licence prior to application and have held this licence for at least 2 years. We would also require you to provide us with driving references to show at least 2 years driving experience under the equivalent licence (equivalent to PCV UK class D, or LGV UK class C).

2. Does Dragoman cover the cost of obtaining the driving licence?

No – the licence is a pre-requisite of the job (by the time you start the 8-week training programme), so if you do not already hold a truck or bus licence (see question 1) then you are required to obtain it at your own expense.

3. How much does obtaining a licence cost?

It varies, but is typically in the region of GBP1000-1500, increasing if you need to re-sit any tests. There are many training schools who can provide detailed information about the expected costs.

4. I do not have a driving licence; can I work for you without one just as a Tour Guide/Courier?

No – we employ all our overseas crew as drivers. This is an important safety measure as well as making it a much more varied and interesting role for all crew. This is why it is a requirement that all our crew must have a valid truck or bus licence (see question 1).

5. When is the deadline for applications?

Generally we do not set a deadline for applications, as we tend to operate our recruitment programme year-round. The only exception to this is when we occasionally close recruitment for a couple of months if we have a back-log of applications to deal with. Please check the website to see if we are accepting new applications at the present time.

6. When will the interview be?

Once we have received your completed application form, our crew recruitment and operations team will assess it. If we consider you to be a suitable applicant, we will contact you by email to arrange a mutually-convenient time for you to come and meet us for an initial interview here at our head office in Suffolk, UK.

Interviews generally take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays in the afternoon, and are generally arranged for within a month of an initial application form being accepted.

7. What is the “one-week trial”?

If you are successful at the initial interview stage, we will invite you back to Dragoman HQ in Suffolk to participate in a one-week trial.

During the week you live and work alongside experienced Dragoman crew and other trainees. You will be mainly helping out in the workshop, and also deliver a 5-minute presentation to a small audience and cook lunch for the workshop and office staff. Although there will be a lot of time in the workshop, we are assessing your attitude, enthusiasm, people-skills and all-round suitability for the role you’ve applied for, rather than specific workshop skills. The trial also gives you the opportunity to learn more about working for Dragoman and life on the road from our experienced staff and crew members.

You will have a chance to find out more about exactly what the one week trial entails during your initial interview.

8. What are the working hours of the one week trial?

The one week trial starts at 9:00am on the Monday and finishes at approximately 5:30pm on the Friday. The hours worked on each day are very flexible and depend on what work needs to be done in the workshop.

It is possible to arrive on the Sunday before the trial starts and stay at The Barns, but you will need to let us know that you will be doing this. It is also possible to stay on the Friday night after the trial also.

9. How long does the training take and what does it involve?

Having participated in a one-week trial, we will assess whether we think you are a suitable candidate for the position. If you are successful, we will offer you a position as a Trainee Leader or Trainee Co-Leader/Mechanic. At this point you will need to go away and obtain your driving licence, first aid certificate etc. if you have not already done so*.

Once this is all in order you will be ready to start as a Trainee Leader or Trainee Co-Leader/Mechanic. Your training will begin with our 8-week training course here in the UK (see above). On successful completion of the training course, you will be ready to go out on the road to commence your first contract. Typically you will spend at least the first 4-6 months overseas as a trainee under the guidance of an experienced Leader.

* Please note that we cannot accept anyone on to the training programme that does not hold a PCV licence (or equivalent) on the agreed start date of any given training programme. 

10. Can I start the 8-week training directly after the one-week trial?

Sometimes this may be possible – but only if you have already obtained your driving licence (and other requirements, see above) and we are happy for you to continue after the one-week trial. Please remember that an offer of a place on the one-week trial is not a guarantee that you will be successful at getting to through to the training!

11. I don’t live in the UK, can you conduct initial interviews over the telephone?

Yes, in exceptional circumstances we may consider conducting an initial interview via telephone or internet (e.g. Skype) but please note that you will still be expected to travel to the UK for your one-week trial and this will be at your own cost.

12. Do I need to speak another language?

Although not an essential requirement of the job, it is always advantageous if you are able to speak other languages in addition to English, and this will be looked upon favourably. 

13. Would I get paid for participating in the one-week trial?

No, however during the one-week trial you are provided with free accommodation so you will only need to bring money with you for groceries and maybe a few drinks in the evening.

14. What would I get paid as a trainee? 

Whilst in the UK on the 8-week training programme, accommodation is provided and a living allowance is paid. You should be aware that there is also a lot of voluntary over-time involved whilst training in the UK – essential preparation for when you are working 24/7 as a crew member out on the road!

Once you go out on the road as a Trainee Leader or Trainee Co-Leader/Mechanic, you will receive a living allowance and food allowance and all your accommodation will be covered. 

15. What is the salary for Leaders and Co-Leader/Mechanics?

We pay our crew based on a sliding scale depending on their experience. Crew who have completed their training are paid on-road living/food allowances and have their accommodation costs covered, and in addition to this they are also paid a daily wage. You will also be entitled to passenger feedback and performance related bonuses. 

Full details of salaries and allowances are discussed as part of the initial interview – but you should be aware that this is very much a lifestyle job, and you will not get rich being an overland tour leader! What the position offers is the incredible opportunity to travel the world in the most exciting job that can be imagined, which is something money cannot buy. Many crew are able to save a decent amount while on the road. This is something you would have to take into consideration if you have any existing financial commitments at home.

16. Do you have a maximum age limit for applicants? 

No, however please note our current leaders on the road are typically between 25 and 40 years of age.

17. Can I choose which area / continent I work in? 

No – for your first contract we require you to be completely flexible about your destination, you could be sent to South America, Africa or Asia – and generally you will stay in this continent for the duration of your first 15-month contract. You could be required to move area during this first 15 months if needed.

After successful completion of your first contract, there will be more of a dialogue about future contracts, but contract offers are always subject to availability and where the operations team have a need for crew.

18. Will I be covered for medical expenses and personal effects whilst overseas? 

Whilst working as a tour leader for Dragoman you will be covered under Dragoman’s company medical insurance policy, however it will be your own responsibility to cover your personal effects if you wish.