Professionals who specialise in building and managing railways are highly sought after the world over. MTR Corporation (MTRC), the sole railway operator in Hong Kong that carries an average of 3.9 million passengers every weekday, has, therefore, cast its net far and wide in search of special talent. The company plans to increase staff numbers in the project division from 1,500 to more than 2,500 by 2013. Members of the team are responsible for the planning and construction of new railways in the coming years. 'We have strengthened our 'employer branding campaign' in Hong Kong and overseas, inviting professionals to register their interest in working with us,' says Maggie So, senior manager for projects and property communications at MTRC. So says the company provides a competitive remuneration package, and offers a range of training programmes and a promising career path to its staff. 'The graduate engineer scheme, for instance, offers engineering graduates exposure to various disciplines in the field through job attachments, on-the-job training and project-based assignments,' she says, adding that senior managers will mentor the trainees. High-performing engineers will stand a good chance of being promoted to senior engineer, construction manager and project manager, according to So. Efforts are also made to prepare technical staff for advancement opportunities. The company is recruiting to fill positions in the design and civil construction teams working on the West Island Line - an extension of the existing Island Line, from Sheung Wan to Kennedy Town - and the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link project. MTRC is also looking for candidates to work on its South Island Line (East) project, which will run from South Horizons, Ap Lei Chau to Admiralty, and the extension of the Kwun Tong Line. The two projects are scheduled to commence next year. There are vacancies for senior construction engineers, who will be leading a technical team to ensure that the projects meet all necessary targets, and inspectors of works, who will be supervising contractors.