The Metro Tunnel: What Does It Mean for Tradies?


An $11 billion investment set to reshape urban transport, the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project is already underway. The largest major public transport project in Victoria’s history, the Tunnel will be the first underground railway built in over a generation.

Infrastructure projects provide an enormous increase in job openings for tradies of all kinds in building and construction. As to whether specific trades benefit more is dependent on the project, but the demand for construction managers gives all tradies the incentive to upskill and advance their career.

Here, we look at the key takeaways from the project so far, as well as how you can capitalise on infrastructure projects. These projects are the perfect way to make the most of your training, or an online course in building and construction you may be studying.

Job & Wage Growth to Increase

According to the Metro Tunnel website, the construction phase of this project—the Tunnels and Stations package—will create 5,000 new jobs, including 500 for apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets.

This is in line with the Major Project Skills Guarantee, which ensures at least 10% of a project’s hours are allocated to entry-level positions. Further, there will be almost 2,000 more jobs coming for remaining parts of the project.

It means that everyone, from those who’ve just earned their building and construction certificate to highly experienced tradies, have the opportunity to secure work in the new Metro Tunnel project.

Thanks to a recent union deal, tradies working on the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project could be earning up to $150,000 per year. For the average worker, the deal means an extra $9.20 per hour, which can add up to an annual pay rise of $25,000.

This is one of the highest rates you’ll see for Metro Tunnel labourer jobs.

Upskill to Get Ahead

In an Australian first, Rail Projects Victoria will be opening a tunnelling training centre next year in an effort to quickly and effectively train workers for jobs in tunnel-specific jobs. In conjunction with training in a building and construction certificate, upskilling could prove to be the best decision of your career.

To register for your chance at a job on the Melbourne Metro Rail Project, it’s important to express your interest early. Rail Projects Victoria has recently outlined the need for surface and tunnel-based road header and tunnel boring machine crews. These crews specifically require operators, labourers, riggers, and scaffolders, so enquire early to make sure you’re considered.

Both skilled labourers will be in demand for other crews, so if you’re on the fence, now’s the perfect time to tackle a course in building and construction online.

Long-Term Infrastructure Projects

The Melbourne Metro Tunnel project is expected to be complete by 2025, so it’s clear that this spike in jobs will have a lasting impact on those in building and construction careers.

Not only is this a great opportunity to start your career with long-term prospects, by its end you may be ready to upskill into construction management, or get enough experience to move into senior management positions.

A successor project has already been put forward, and this is not the only example of recent infrastructure investment. Other major works, such as the West Gate Tunnel Project, demonstrate that job growth within the next decade will not be short-lived.

Currently, tradies can submit an expression of interest to work on the West Gate Tunnel Project. This project is designed to provide an alternate route from the West Gate Freeway to the Melbourne CBD, while also reducing congestion.

In addition, the Victorian Government’s proposed Suburban Rail Loop is poised to deliver $50 billion in infrastructure development throughout the suburbs of Melbourne. Although construction is yet to start, the project is expected to create up to 20,000 new jobs.

Jobs for Tradies, Construction Managers & More

There are currently 650 people working on the Metro Tunnel at this early stage. A quick scan of current job postings confirms the diversity of careers that could be furthered with this project.

The Metro Tunnel website has announced at least 38 specific careers that can find work in the project, ranging from general graduates and admin assistants, through to expert acousticians and systems integration specialists.

However, an overwhelming number of jobs are set to be within building and construction fields. This indicates that the project is the perfect training ground for new apprentices and a solid trajectory for careers in management.

If you’re considering gaining building and construction certificates, or studying building and construction online to enhance your skills, now is the perfect time to ensure you’re ready for the construction boom.


Photos from the Metro Tunnel official site.