HONG KONG Tramways has run into trouble over alleged discrimination against hiring drivers who are women or over 40. According to regulations drawn up in the 1950s the company does not employ drivers aged over 40, recruits attending a job seminar were told yesterday. About 80 mostly middle-aged applicants had answered an advertisement offering jobs as drivers to men with primary education. The training officer for the tram company, Simmy Liu Sei-mei, said the company would not employ anyone over 40, under 1.6 metres tall, or weighing more than 68 kilograms. Many participants at the seminar, organised by the Employees Retraining Board and the Employer's Federation of Hong Kong, were taken aback by the conditions. 'I think they should have printed that information in the advertisement, to prevent us wasting our time,' said unemployed jewel technician Li Kwok-kwan. 'If I were not 49, I would be confident of getting this job,' he said. Another participant said his chances of getting a job he wanted were slim. 'I am 60 years old but I have a perfect healthy body. I don't understand why they have such rules,' he said. Elizabeth Tang Yin-ngor, executive secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, said: 'I don't understand why they have such rules. 'I think they should focus on whether a person has proficiently acquired the training they need, not their physical attributes,' she said. Administration Manager of Tramways Wegan Chiang Kei-wai admitted that the company had been using the criteria for hiring staff for the past 40 years. 'Tramways is 91 years old. There are many old things in the company. I am sure we will review these criteria,' he said. About a quarter of the applicants will get jobs at Tramways for $32.62 per hour.. Mr Chiang said the company welcomed female applicants even though the advertisement specified it was recruiting men. 'It is a misunderstanding. We don't have a policy in discriminating against women. In fact, we have registered some female applications today,' Mr Chiang said. He said 10 per cent of the company's 352 tram drivers were women.