Add Metro Vancouver’s transit and transportation agency to the list of employers mounting a recruiting push amid a province-wide labour shortage.
TransLink says it is hiring in all areas right now, but it’s putting a particular emphasis on SkyTrain workers, in anticipation of the completion of the Broadway subway and Surrey-Langley Expo Line extension.
The agency is looking to hire about 300 such workers immediately, with 500 needed by 2028 when the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain line goes into service, TransLink spokesperson Thor Diakow said.
TransLink is also set to receive more than 200 of the new, larger Mark V train cars by late next year which will need to be put into service.
“This is a specialized industry, this is a specialized rail system a lot of people aren’t familiar with so it takes a certain amount of skill,” he said.
“It takes a lot of trades people who have worked in areas such as rail, electricians … vehicle technicians, guideway technicians, power technicians, people that actually work on the SkyTrain cars themselves.”
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Many of the positions are in TransLink’s Burnaby SkyTrain Operations and Management Centre, a repair and maintenance facility that operates around the clock, seven days a week.
While Diakow described TransLink’s wages and benefits as “competitive,” he said the agency recognizes the tight labour market and is being proactive as it seeks to recruit, — as well as offering on-the-job training.
“We’re reaching out to trade schools, we’re holding recruiting events and things like that. We’re trying to work with B.C. Women in Trades to makes sure we’re an equitable and diverse company to work for.”
SkyTrain-related hourly wages listed on TransLink’s website ranged from a low of $34.01 per hour for labourers to as high as $58.41 for elevator and escalator technicians, while other skilled positions boasted salary ranges as high as $107,000 per year.
The company is encouraging workers with the right skills to apply in the next few weeks. Qualified applicants who apply by Oct. 14 will be invited to an open house hiring event at the end of October.