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TOP-performing train driver job applicants have waited more than a year to find out if they can start work despite Queensland Rail’s ongoing train crew shortage headache.
Emails obtained by The Courier-Mail reveal QR has advised frustrated driver applicants of further delays in its nine-step recruitment process “due to changes in operation requirements”.
The job seekers were in the top echelon of applicants who responded to QR’s external recruitment campaign, according to the emails, after acing QR’s tough psychometric and psychomotor testing early this year.
But QR has advised step four of the recruitment – a group exercise and information session – planned for this month has been postponed until early next year.
It referred to a “high volume of applicants for these highly sought after” positions.
QR chief executive officer Nick Easy said 35 external candidates without QR driving experience would enter training next year and a further 18 ex-QR drivers had also been hired. Picture: Annette DewThe candidates had responded to a call by QR for external applications in August 2017 – 10 months after crippling driver shortages led to the collapse of the train timetable.
Hiring outsiders was recommended by the 2017 Strachan inquiry into the QR meltdown, which linked a “structural shortfall of train crew” to the “creation of overtime opportunities”.
But external recruitment has been resisted by the powerful Rail Tram & Bus Union, which unsuccessfully tried to block the move, claiming existing QR staff had been overlooked.
QR is yet to say when a full timetable will be restored and as late as last month could not guarantee services would run as planned for the annual Riverfire event.
One train driver applicant told The Courier-Mail he was ranked a top performer in January after passing testing, but had since “moved on with my life” due to the long wait.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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