HUNDREDS have applied to become ticket inspectors on Edinburgh’s trams, with the stampede of hopefuls delighting city officials.
A total of 550 job applications had already been submitted as of last Friday in a massive response to the 52 posts available.
Such has been the flood of interest in the £17,000-a-year positions that tram chiefs have received 334 in the space of just eight days since stepping up the recruitment drive on October 31.
Almost 37 people have applied every day since the fresh call for candidates was first made. The clippies will be responsible for checking tickets, issuing fines and helping with crowd control during special events such as rugby internationals along the eight-mile long tram route from Edinburgh Airport to York Place.
The council has advertised for “personable” people to fill the “ticketing services assistant” (TSAs) roles.
Edinburgh Trams general manager Tom Norris said: “I’m delighted with both the number and standard of applicants we’ve received in our attempts to find the best possible TSAs for Edinburgh Trams.
“That said, the opportunity to apply still exists and we continue to welcome potential applicants who feel they can add to our team and be part of an exciting future for Edinburgh Trams and transport in the city. We continue to advertise both full-time and part-time positions on our website.”
The closing date for applications is November 25.
Demand has also been high to be a driver on one of the state-of-the-art vehicles. More than 1300 people applied for 57 tram driver and controller positions earlier this year.
An extensive training programme has been promised for successful ticketing applicants before the service launches. The small army of inspectors will be given “conflict training” so they can diffuse any powderkeg flare-ups on platforms or on trams.
City transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said extensive tuition on fare types, timetables and safety procedures would also be part of staff training.
Leith pensioner John McGuinness, who worked as a points boy on Edinburgh’s old trams network, said being employed on the new system would be a “novelty” for those who got the jobs.
But the 84-year-old said: “It amazes me that there’s been so many applications to be a driver or inspector. It’s a bit puzzling.”
Mr McGuinness said of the old days: “The old clippies stopped the trams and got police on to deal with any drunks. They had regulators at each station”.
Britain is not working
LONG application lists and snaking queues of job seekers have become common across Britain during the worst of the economic recession.
More than 4000 people braved the bitter cold in March this year to line up for one of 1000 positions at a new shopping centre near Southampton.
Closer to home almost 24 people applied for every driver and controller position available on Edinburgh’s trams line.
Retailers have tried to create extra jobs in the Capital. Supermarket giant Marks and Spencer joined forces with The Prince’s Trust to create work placements. The city’s youth unemployment level had soared to 16.8 per cent in July.