Canadian Locomotive Driver cannot get hired in Rail anywhere in Aus

  Crazycanuck1 Beginner

Hello All

I am a fully qualified and experienced Locomotive Engineer ( 9 years as Train Driver in Freight Service with Canadian Pacific Railway) who migrated from Canada two years ago and nobody will even hire me in Australia for even the most basic jobs ( shunter, or Second Person for example). Pretty demoralised about the whole thing. I have applied for numerous jobs in QLD and Vic, but without success.

I love this Country, and am a Permanent Resident, but I have discovered that the Rail Operating Companies don't give a toss about your experience, safety record, or qualifications, and seem to want to hire blokes who are really good at gaming ( Psychomotor and Psychometric Tests)?????

My Catch 22 is this:  I can't get the Cert IV without being employed by a Rail Operator, and at the same time I can't get hired by a Rail Operator without the Cert IV.

Anyway, I am pretty sure there are a few folks on this forum, who may have some insight into this state of affairs, and may even have some advice or assistance to help a poor old Hoghead find work in rail again.

Cheers and thanks for any help you may be able to provide.

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  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

Don't confine yourself to VIC and QLD. Both states tend to be challenging to enter for rail jobs. Try NSW for freight trains, there are companies that will train you to standard that allows employment as a casual. Western Australia is another chance, whether suburban trains or the mining areas in the Pilbara (hope you like hot weather!)

Melbourne Metro trains always seem to hire people, and at worst you might have to start at the bottom there as a full on trainee. I know people off the street who have become drivers within 10 months, so it is not that long to wait, and you get at least a trainee wage for that time.

There have been a few cases over the years of people getting jobs based on their claims, only for us to work out they either were not qualified or were just no good. I can understand the railway companies being wary, especially when we find out that a "driver" doesn't even understand what a triple valve does.

Good luck, mate!
  sthyer Deputy Commissioner

Hi Crazy

Don't get too caught up in the Cert IV thing. Most railway companies won't issue it to their employees anyway, as it's a transferrable qualification and they want to keep you. Metro is one of the few companies that does, because the RTBU won it as a right for members. I recently moved to Sydney Trains, where the ad stated they wanted Cert IV for previously qualified drivers. I was the only one in my class who actually had the piece of paper, reality seems to be different.

I knew an ex Canadian in Metro trains, similar skills to you. He got straight in as a shift manager, but that might not be your cup of tea. Some of your issues might be related to the current drought. Freight companies aren't short of drivers, probably the opposite. QLD rail seems not to care about previous quals, just their employment system. There's plenty of Sydney Trains drivers trying to get into QLD but their current skills don't move them up the list. They still have to compete against everyone else on a standard test.

Sydney is a crazy, expensive town, but there's quite a bit of work around. You might find a way in there.
  aussiealco Station Master

Location: Bathurst NSW
G'day Crazy,
Welcome to Down-under.
Unfortunately, our rail operations are not as they once were.
Many of the smaller freight mobs cannot provide permanent work and only offer part time to newbies.
It all depends upon just where you want to take up residence down-under as to what potential there is on the rail system.
Most mobs also start their newbies as trainee rail operators.
And, obtaining the necessary qualifications can be challenging today.
Yes, driving trains around the globe is kinda similar.
But, we all do it slightly differently, safe working wise.
You would probably find the Pilbara or even Tassie the most similar.
Track Warrant control etc.
Though, the Pilbara is not what it once was.
Autonomous trains now starting to take over.
There once was an ex Canadian bloke at LMC in Lithgow NSW.
He was a great bloke to work with and I liked his accent.
Always had a cup of java in his hand.
Good luck with your endeavour.
  8seconds Beginner

I'd also look at Watco in Western Australia and soon starting in Darling Downs region in Queensland. They would fully understand your issues and may give you a shot. They often advertise encouraging those with access etc that has lapsed to apply. Also great company to work for.
  natlukros Beginner

Im in a similar situation, 22 years in the NZ rail industry, shunter, train examiner, locomotive driver and now multiple unit driver.

my non rail partner got a job offer from metrotrains but I couldnt even get an interview.

countless other 'unfortunately' emails from various HR offices. Many former colleagues have moved over (including a few people that werent exactly cream of the crop).

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