Engineering, Freight Rail, Major Projects & Infrastructure, Workforce, Certification & Training

Inland Rail Skills Academy helping students prepare for “the real world”

A new training concept aims to deliver skills relevant to the Inland Rail

THE Australian Rail Track Corporation’s Inland Rail Skills Academy has launched a pilot program aimed at helping high school students gain work experience and skills development.

The program, entitled Grand Opportunities, delivers on the Inland Rail Skills Academy goal to  support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education to build skills in occupations which are part of major infrastructure projects.

ARTC inland rail director Rebecca Pickering said the Grand Opportunities program sought to bridge the gap between education and the real world for high school students.

Pickering said Inland Rail was set to not only change the way Australia moves freight around Australia but be a catalyst for positive change communities along the rail alignment.

“STEM programs are a key component of the Inland Rail Skills Academy, and through the virtual workshops, we’re making it accessible for students,” Pickering said.

“Grand Opportunities is part of ARTC’s ongoing commitment to grow skills in rail by working closely with industry partners to deliver in our local communities and regions around Australia,” she said.

“One of the key ways ARTC delivers on this commitment is by increasing capabilities of school students in STEM for rail industries through programs like Grand Opportunities.

“We’ll start the program here in Queensland and then roll it out to other states, and given the early interest, we anticipate it will be very popular,” she said.

Students are to work through the four-hour workshops in their own time and once a month join in a group conversation with an industry representative, which is facilitated by education and work experience company Grandshake.

Grand Company chief executive Dhawal Nayak said the new Skills Academy partnership with Grandshake was a perfect collaboration.

“Grandshake is proud to partner with Inland Rail, which takes us a step closer to our mutual goal of removing barriers to STEM education and ensuring students gain the knowledge and connections necessary to pursue careers in major projects such as Inland Rail,” he said.

The program of virtual work experience is a series of six workshops which are provided online to high school students.

Disciplines being explored include:

  • Sustainability in rail
  • Digital technology in Rail
  • Environment and Rail – Geoscience/Tech
  • Building Rail – Civil & Construction
  • Operating Rail – Rail Systems & Signalling

Maintaining Rail – Track & Systems maintenance

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