West Midlands Metro is set to create more than 160 new jobs as it expands with new lines due to open or being constructed in Birmingham and the Black Country.
A recruitment campaign is launched this week to help fill the first of those vacancies ahead of the opening of extensions to Wolverhampton Railway Station and Edgbaston later this year – part of a wider £1.3 billion expansion of the region’s tram network.
Roles available include tram drivers, mechanics and engineers, ticket inspectors and a whole range of support staff. To give the new recruits the skills they need, as well as develop the careers of existing workers, West Midlands Metro has also opened a new training academy at its Wednesbury depot.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street visited the new academy to cut the ribbon and meet some of the team.
He said: “The huge investment we are making in expanding the West Midlands Metro network across the Black Country and Birmingham means that we have been able to create and secure construction jobs throughout the Covid 19 pandemic as work continued.
“But as we now prepare to open the new extension we are looking to recruit more staff to be part of the continued success of Metro. We know many people have fallen out of work or are worried about their futures because of the pandemic, so it is brilliant we have been able to use our record investment in transport to secure existing jobs and create new ones.”
The campaign is aimed at inspiring people to join the Metro team and be part of the success of West Midlands Metro that delivers services that people depend upon everyday.
As well as providing a central location for the induction of new recruits, the facility will also play a key role in providing ongoing training for around 230 highly committed people who already work for the operator Midland Metro Limited (MML).
The operator’s commitment to employment opportunities in the communities it serves, while investing in its existing team, has been welcomed by Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands.
Built around the catchline ‘M is for’, the recruitment campaign highlights how the Metro is providing new opportunities, the chance for a fresh start and the diversity of its team.
Sophie Allison, MML Commercial Director, explained: “As we look forward to the opening of new routes, our workforce is expected to expand by more than 70 per cent.
“Our focus is now on recruiting talented people from the communities we serve, and ensuring the Metro remains a great place to work where everyone is treated with respect and feels valued and cared for.
“At the same time, the West Midlands Metro Academy will help ensure both new and existing members of the team continue to deliver the best possible service to customers.”
Both the recruitment campaign and the opening of the academy build on the work already being done in partnership with local colleges and the Department for Work and Pensions on a range of initiatives to attract more people into light rail, address a national skills shortage and help young people at risk of long-term unemployment.
Over the coming months, positions to be filled at the company include skilled engineering roles where training will be required to maintain the new fleet and infrastructure. Tram crews, revenue inspectors and a host of support staff roles are also available to people from all backgrounds and of any age.
Sophie added: “The customer is at the heart of everything we do, and the only way we can deliver the high standards they deserve is by investing in the people who deliver the service everyday.”
For more information on the Academy visit wmmacademy.com.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street (far left) at the opening of the new Academy with members of the West Midlands Metro Team (left to right), recently qualified drivers Amal Prasad and Phillip Corbett-Butler, Commercial Director Sophie Allison and Anthony Stanley, Head of Quality, Health and Safety and Environment.