Workforce, Certification & Training

New diploma ensures rail skills are kept on track

Providing crucial skills for engineers and track practitioners is the aim of the Diploma of Rail Track Engineering, as the number of rail-related jobs increases.

A new Diploma of Rail Track Engineering is providing crucial skills for engineers and track practitioners to meet an unprecedented surge in rail infrastructure projects.

NSW transport minister Andrew Constance said with projects such as Sydney Metro and Parramatta Light Rail under construction, the new Diploma was a perfect example of industry and the education sector working together to help meet the state’s demand for qualified workers.

“This Diploma is proof of Transport for NSW’s key role in upskilling industry capability, with flow on effects for the wider talent ecosystem across the nation,” Constance said.

“With rail attracting billions of investment dollars in NSW, it’s vital that we attract and train the best minds in the industry so we can keep delivering for our customers.”

Sydney Trains Operational Technology senior project manager Khaled Azer was among the first cohort of thirty Engineering and Maintenance staff from Sydney Trains who graduated in late April.

“Before coming to Sydney Trains, I worked on projects such as the WestConnex, Westlink M7, M4 Motorway and the M5 East, so I was an expert on all things below the ballast, but anything above it was new to me,” Khaled said.

“This course helped me understand track design and key topics like track defects and rectification and because we all came from different parts of the industry and are at various stages of life, we learnt from each other by sharing our experiences and working together.”

Transport for NSW executive director of Learning and Development Veronica North said the collaboration between Transport for NSW, Sydney Trains, Engineers Australia and the University of Tasmania would result in improved industry standards and development.

“The scale of expansion means increased demand for engineers in the rail track engineering discipline in both the public and private sectors. By partnering with industry and UTAS we’ve delivered a qualification that uplifts rail track engineering capability across the entire country to address skills shortages and improve safety.”

The part-time course runs for 12-18 months. Enrolments are now open for 2022.

Engineers Australia chief executive, Dr Bronwyn Evans said the Diploma represented an excellent pathway into engineering.

“Rail engineering is among the areas which is experiencing skills shortages and this course is a significant step forward in helping to overcome this challenge, which is vital given that rail is an integral part of Australia’s current and future transport infrastructure,” Evans said.