Whats going on with QR guards and driver positions?

 
  Rookie101 Station Staff

Hi there,
So im ex railcorp and have moved to qld 2 years ago and taken a short term job awaiting guards or driver traineeships for qr. Can anyone fill me in? Its been 2 years and still nothing?

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  nic Chief Train Controller

Location: Brisbane, QLD
Hi there,
So im ex railcorp and have moved to qld 2 years ago and taken a short term job awaiting guards or driver traineeships for qr. Can anyone fill me in? Its been 2 years and still nothing?
Rookie101
Not sure about 'Queensland Rail' mate, but Aurizon has had an intake of trainee drivers in the last few months - Apparently they were completely swamped with applications. I tried to apply but got turned down, along with alot of others by the sound of it.
  rook Locomotive Driver

Seems you just missed out, mate.  In August 2011, QR launched a massive trainee driver intake, leading to one trainee school per month for all of 2012.  The last of that intake would be getting signed off approximately now.

*  *  *

In terms of potential future needs, some background may be useful.

From mid-2009 until the Newman government came in, it was QR CityTrain policy to hire/train traincrew (guards and drivers) on a part-time basis only.  Managers were very careful to say that there was no authorised path to full-time, and that there might never be any.  

The first few batches of PT crew were guaranteed 29 hrs/wk; the next lot only 22 hrs/wk.  Even though the in-practice number of working hours was higher for both lots, unsurprisingly there was a lot of turnover.  And turnover is expensive: a guard costs roughly $200K to train; a driver, closer to $300K.

Whatever your politics, the smartest thing the LNP ever did with QR was to offer the entire existing PT intake the option of instantly moving to FT.  They had roughly 98% take-up for that change in status, including from all of those 2012-start driver schools, and instantly gained a huge number of committed hours from already-qualified and soon-to-be-qualified traincrew.

*  *  *

Today, QR Citytrain is relatively flush with drivers, to the point where current drivers are complaining about a lack of overtime.  They are somewhat shorter of guards, which is unusual but probably temporary, as it only takes 4 months to train up a new guard...

Still, QR faces a substantial ongoing demographic roll-off of soon-to-retire traincrew, both drivers and guards.  I don't know any details of when the next round of intake assessments will be, but it is bound to be soon.
  petey3801 Chief Commissioner

Location: On the rails
Currently, all traincrew vacancies are being filled internally, no external advertising for traincrew for the forseeable future. Plenty of overtime going for the guards and drivers who are willing to work it...
  Rookie101 Station Staff

Thanks heaps, I have noticed csa jobs (casual) a few times over the last year, maybe thats my best bet? Juggle 2 jobs for a while?
  rook Locomotive Driver

Thanks heaps, I have noticed csa jobs (casual) a few times over the last year, maybe thats my best bet? Juggle 2 jobs for a while?
Rookie101
Can't hurt--that's how I got in.  In my day (I've moved on since), the big hurdle was the psychosometric testing.  But if you can pass that, and your previous rail experience suggests you could, then you'd probably find that experience in "Stations" would provide an edge at the final interview stage for a traincrew position.  When I went through, they interviewed 3 candidates for every hire (after culling out roughly 4000 in the earlier stages), so being able to comfortably "talk QR" was certainly useful.

In the present day, given petey3801's point about internal-only recruiting, there may well be an even more concrete advantage to the CSA path.  

Still, my experience is somewhat out-of-date, and if I were in your shoes, I'd want to find out more detail about the internal-only bit.  If any QR employee--casual or permanent--is eligible to apply for a future traincrew intake, fine.  CSA work is basic (scrubbing toilets, working barriers, and selling tickets), but pays well enough for what it is.  But if casuals are excluded from applying to traincrew positions, you might be better looking at PN or Aurizon as your path back into the industry.
  Rookie101 Station Staff

Thanks for the info!
Id like to find out more about the internal only thing and reasons behind it?
Also what's the average guards pay?

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