Events, Inclusion and Diversity, light rail, Passenger Rail, Workforce

Yarra Trams drives recruitment campaign

Melbourne’s Yarra Trams has kicked off a major recruitment campaign to hire more than 150 new tram drivers this year.

This follows more than 180 drivers being recruited and trained last year and is an exciting opportunity for those wishing to make a career change or re-enter the workforce.

Yarra Trams has more than 1400 tram drivers with significant growth expected in the coming years. There is a particular need for more tram drivers in the Southern and Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, with tram depots in Camberwell, Kew, Malvern, and Glenhuntly carrying vacancies.

Tram drivers hired as part of this recruitment campaign will undertake a paid six to ten-week intensive training program which covers classroom learning, simulator training, and a significant proportion of on-road training under the supervision of a highly experienced driver trainer.

Depending on the depot they are assigned to, drivers may be trained on trams ranging from the modern Melbourne-built E-class to the heritage-listed W-class tram that operates in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.

Yarra Trams is committed to improving the diversity of its workforce, to more accurately represent the global city it serves. This focus has included previously opening part time driving positions for the first time ever and establishing internal support networks such as the Yarra Trams LGBTI+ Pride Alliance and Gender Equality Working Group. Supported by these initiatives, Yarra Trams has nearly doubled the number of female employees in eight years and women now represent nearly 30% of drivers.

For some, driving trams is the job for a lifetime, with many of Yarra Trams’ drivers having been with the organisation for decades. Melbourne’s longest-serving tram driver retired earlier this year after an incredible 59 years of service.

Benefits include a six to ten-week paid training program, a highly competitive salary, flexible working hours and free public transport across Victoria.

To be eligible to be a tram driver applicants must have held a full Victorian driver’s licence for at least three years, have a safe driving record, hold the right to work in Australia, and be willing and able to conduct shift work as required.

Yarra Trams Chief Operations Officer Carla Purcell said he was proud of the diverse and passionate team built at Yarra Trams in recent years.

“As we welcome the world back to Melbourne, we are looking for people who love trams as much as we do, are passionate about providing an exceptional passenger experience every day and always have safety at front of mind,” he said.

One excited new Yarra Trams driver is Maggie Tang, who said applying to work as a tram driver was a huge move away from what she was doing at the start of the pandemic.

“But I don’t regret it for a second! My colleagues have been incredibly supportive as I’ve learned the ropes of being a tram driver, and I would encourage anyone considering becoming a tram driver to just do it,” she said.