The search is on for drivers to operate the massive tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will dig the Metro Tunnel.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan announced the recruitment drive at the site of the future North Melbourne station today, where the first of four tunnel boring machines is already in place, ready to be assembled.
Six trainee drivers will be hired – all from Victoria – with the recruitment process to begin this month and successful candidates to start training in May.
The trainees will take part in a world-class accelerated training program led by tunnels and stations contractor CYP Design and Construction’s experienced TBM operators, tunnellers and engineers, who have worked on some of the biggest infrastructure projects around the world.
Training will include a cutting edge TBM simulator that provides a computer-generated replica of the control panel inside a TBM, and recreates the geologies and operating conditions underground.
The first two TBMs will be launched from the North Melbourne site mid-this year to dig the twin nine-kilometre tunnels that will unclog the heart of the rail network and enable more trains, more often, right across Melbourne.
Last year the Labor Government announced that a $16 million state-of-the-art tunnelling centre will be established in Melbourne to train the thousands of local workers that will deliver Victoria’s massive pipeline of tunnelling projects — including the Metro Tunnel, Westgate Tunnel, North East Link and Suburban Rail Loop.
The Victorian Tunnelling Centre will be built at Holmesglen Institute’s Chadstone campus and open later this year.
The successful TBM driver candidates will be required to have an appreciation of mechanics, knowledge of civil engineering and an understanding of geology.
Details on how to apply will be available at metrotunnel.vic.gov.au in the coming weeks.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We’re recruiting Victorians to pilot these machines because we’re putting Victorian workers first – giving locals the skills and opportunities to work on our biggest projects.”
“These machines will operate like huge underground factories, with highly skilled operators working around the clock to build the Metro Tunnel.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“The successful candidates will get the incredible opportunity to work on the biggest public transport project ever built in Victoria, while gaining the specialist skills needed to operate these massive, complex tunnelling machines.”
“We’re making sure local workers have the skills to build the major infrastructure projects for Victoria’s future.”