Downer High Capacity Metro Trains – Melbourne Victoria

Maximise opportunities for small to medium enterprises and workforce development

The HCMT Project will deliver up to 1,100 new jobs in manufacturing, maintenance and supply chain across Victoria.

Evolution Rail (comprising Downer, CRRC Changchun and Plenary) has been engaged by the Victorian Government to deliver the world-class High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMT) fleet with the first train to enter testing by the end of 2018.

Evolution Rail's approach to the HCMT Project will transform Melbourne's public transport system with world-class trains while creating a sustainable, globally-competitive manufacturing industry with the capability to export to the world. The $2.3 billion project is the largest single order of trains in Victoria's history and one of the largest government spends in Victoria. The project will not only deliver much-needed public transport infrastructure, it will also drive jobs, industry development and prosperity for Victoria.

Identifying, engaging and procuring from local suppliers

Evolution Rail targeted local suppliers with known capability.

More than 250 representatives from interested businesses participated in information roadshows.

The HCMT project is on track to exceed local business targets of 60 per cent for fleet construction, 87 per cent for depot construction, and 82 per cent during the maintenance phase.

Bendigo-based manufacturer Hofmann Engineering won the contract to manufacture the bogie frames for the HCMT Project and is now preparing to extend their services internationally through the production line of CRRC Changchun.

Partnering with industry bodies and government to support local supplier capability

To fast-track the development of engagement with local suppliers, Evolution Rail actively engaged with Victorian manufacturing groups and government bodies including: South East Melbourne Manufacturing Association (SEMMA); Greater Bendigo Economic Development Unit (GBEDU); Ballarat Manufacturing Productivity Network (BMPN); Industry Capability Network (ICN); Geelong Manufacturing Council (GMC); Invest Victoria; and LaTrobe Valley Regional Development Fund.

Mentoring for apprentices, trainees and under-represented groups

The size and scale of the HCMT Project is enabling the consortium to create meaningful opportunities for regional Australia, and sustainable high-skill, high-value jobs in key regional growth areas such as Newport, Bendigo, Pakenham, Horsham and Morwell.

They are achieving this by:

  • Creating an organisational design with a commitment to 15 per cent apprentices, cadets and trainees.
  • Working closely with State Government and local industry to offer preferential consideration of workers from declining industries, with an emphasis on retraining and reskilling
  • Designing and launching a Diversity = Strength workforce employment program, opening the door for women in the rail industry and providing opportunity for Indigenous Australians, workers with a disability and breaking the long-term unemployment cycle
  • Engaging supply chain partners to maximise the total labour hours contributed by Indigenous persons, long-term unemployed and persons with a disability, achieving 2.5 per cent above the requirement.

Disadvantaged workers

The HCMT Project has a commitment to workers facing barriers to employment, with a target of seven per cent of the workforce to comprise Indigenous Australians, the long term unemployed and people with a disability.

We have engaged a support network of specialist providers across the disadvantaged worker sector including the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator and AFL SportsReady.

We have also provided disadvantaged workers with facilitated development opportunities through our Career Start program, offering the opportunity to complete accredited apprenticeships and traineeships. Disadvantaged workers who maintain an existing skill are offered the opportunity to participate in a Career Restart program to assess their current skills and capabilities against a defined role.

Workers with a disability

Downer has partnered with The WorkFocus Group, appointed by the Federal Government as the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC). This partnership developed a focus on long-term sustainable changes to employment and workforce practices which will see many candidates enter our workforce.

This initiative demonstrates Downer's contribution to achieve the following Sustainable Development Goals: