Transport Minister Mark Bailey today welcomed the next cohort of Queensland Rail trainee drivers on their first day of training.
Mr Bailey said a further 13 new recruits had commenced driver training today, 12 who have prior driving experience with Queensland Rail and one who had transferred their driving duties at Queensland Rail from Emerald to the South East Queensland network.
“I’m excited today to welcome Queensland Rail’s newest trainee drivers,” Mr Bailey said.
“With all 13 trainees experienced in driving trains for Queensland Rail previously, including in regional areas and with Aurizon, QR will be seeking to fast track their competency-based training wherever possible and see them out on the South East Queensland (SEQ) network as quickly as we can, without compromising quality or safety.
“Over the coming months, these trainees will be learning the ins and outs of Queensland Rail’s fleet and every inch of the SEQ network, including every point, every signal and every corner of the track.
“The Palaszczuk Government is taking action to fix the trains, and is already well progressed in implementing the recommendations of the Strachan Inquiry.”
“The latest quarterly report from the Citytrain Response Unit shows that 17 of the 36 Strachan Inquiry recommendations have now been completed, with 6 recommendations and milestones completed in the last quarter, alone.
“Since the start of Queensland Rail’s recruitment drive from October 2016, a total of 145 trainee drivers and 262 trainee guards have been selected, with 51 drivers and 158 guards now fully qualified and working out on the SEQ network.
“QR’s train driver training plummeted to zero in 2014, when the LNP were last in government.
“This year alone, we are on track for more trainee drivers to commence their training, than in the entire three years of the former LNP Government.
“Today’s driver school brings the number of trainee drivers currently undergoing training to 80 - a portion of whom are nearing the end of their qualifications and are expected to enter the network in the before the Commonwealth Games.
“We also have 41 guards currently undergoing training, which will be boosted to 61 with the next guard training school commencing in February.
“I welcome our newest trainee drivers and wish them the best for their training and careers.
“Their contributions as Queensland Rail drivers are extremely important to increasing services for our SEQ customers in the future.”
Mr Bailey said Queensland Rail’s external driver and guard recruitment campaign, which was advertised in late 2017, was also well progressed.
“Queensland Rail has now completed the first stage, which involved applicants completing an online cognitive assessment, and the top performing candidates are now progressing through the second recruitment stage which is psychomotor testing," he said.