Kyle Wright, 31,Project rail engineer. Moved from Glasgow, Scotland, to Melbourne, Victoria in 2005.
Kyle Wright is loving being able to accelerate his career in the global rail industry while enjoying a lifestyle he says is hard to match. "Melbourne is a big city without the hassles. It's sophisticated, diverse and relaxed --- and with a skills shortage in its rail industry it's also a great place to step up your career too." Kyle, 31, grew up in Northern Ireland and studied engineering in Glasgow before landing in Melbourne for a brief work placement as part of a two-year graduate program with global rail consultancy, Interfleet.
When the Melbourne office offered him a job a few months after his return to the UK, Kyle jumped at the chance to return. "I fell in love with Melbourne the first week I was here. There wasn't much adjustment needed. It's got everything you'd want and it's easy to live here." Kyle's career has since taken off since he arrived in 2005.
Melbourne has the world's largest tram network and substantial investment is underway in its train network as it shifts from a suburban network to a high-capacity, big city metro service.
"The technology used in the rail industry is similar to the UK and across Europe and the workplace is very easy to slot into," Kyle said. "I've found the salary and conditions better and the work culture is more relaxed but still with lots of challenges." After several years as a consultant engineer with Interfleet, Kyle moved to Connex in 2008, which operated Melbourne's rail network until 2009. When Metro Trains took on the contract, Kyle gained a range of new responsibilities.
Metro Trains Recruitment Manager, Peter Kellaway, says that Melbourne's train patronage will double in the next decade and the company is seeking rail specialists in a range of disciplines including electrical engineers, signal engineers and design engineers.
He explains that Metro Trains arranges visas for skilled workers and their families and provides financial and other relocation support services to help them settle.
Kyle has enjoyed the many opportunities he has been given to build on his engineering expertise.
"My current role includes liaising with a major rolling stock manufacturer regarding various safety, technical and quality issues. It's been a big challenge but I'm loving it."
With regular site visits to the regional city of Ballarat to inspect new rolling stock, Kyle also gets to see the advantages of living outside the capital. Kyle has enjoyed the best of both worlds in Melbourne, living first in its buzzing Southbank precinct in the city centre before switching to the relaxed suburban lifestyle of Boronia in the eastern suburbs with his Australian girlfriend Fiona.
Kyle met Fiona at a pub and the young couple share their house with their two dogs. They enjoy all the advantages that Victoria's mild climate has to offer, including daytrips to the beach, the nearby Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley wineries. "The whole move re-energised me and I've done a few trips around Australia, including skydiving at Byron Bay and scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. I did an adventure tour through the Red Centre sleeping in swags under the stars and visiting Uluru. When you actually get out there you realise just how big this country is."
Kyle loves Victoria for its four distinct seasons which allow for surfing in the summer and skiing in the winter. "There's lots of golf courses in the suburbs and you can play all year round although I've learnt to start early in the morning in the summer months," he said.
Melbourne's housing sector has maintained its strength as the state's economic growth continues, but Kyle says you get more for your buck with most homes featuring generous backyards. Kyle can't find a reason to leave Victoria and plans to stay for good.
"I'm in the process of getting my permanent residency with the help of a migration agent provided by Metro Trains and in 2011 we're planning a trip to Europe so Fiona can meet my family," he said. "I love my Melbourne life and wouldn't swap it for anything. It's better than anything I expected and I feel at home here."
WHAT'S IT LIKE?
Melbourne is the capital of the Australian state of Victoria. With a population of four million people, migrants from all over the world feel at home here, with its historic architecture, ethnic diversity, rich cultural life and welcoming local community.
New futuristic designs add to the fascinating mix of architecture and ensure the skyline is constantly changing. Melbourne is very much about lifestyle and there's no shortage of things to do with a busy calendar of events and sports. This city is often ranked as one of the world's most liveable cities.
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