Workforce, Certification & Training

Report pinpoints rail’s skills shortages

The industry’s chronic skills and labour shortages show no signs of abating with a number of occupations predicted to be in skill demand throughout 2012, according to a discussion paper released by the Transport and Logistics Skills Council (TLISC) that details key findings from its upcoming 2012 Environmental Scan.

According to TLISC’s discussion paper, the occupations across Australia’s rail industry that will be in skill demand in 2012 will be:

  • Train Drivers
  • Signalling technicians
  • Railway track workers
  • Team leader infrastructures
  • Track patrollers/inspectors
  • Rail trainers/assessors
  • Guards/conductors
  • Overhead wiring technicians
  • Civil specialists

The barriers to overcoming rail’s skills and labour shortages as identified by the discussion paper are:

  • Loss of experienced and skilled workers due to competition from the resources sector
  • Increased demand for employment due to new rail projects coming on line
  • Ageing workforce
  • Electrification of rail impacting on skill requirements
  • Complex legislative and regulatory frameworks

TLISC general manager, strategy and policy, Amanda Thomas, emphasised that workforce ageing will continue to be a significant barrier to maintaining an appropriately skilled workforce within the rail sector.

On a positive note, the discussion paper also identified solutions to the rail industry’s skills and labour shortages as well as potential sources of labour, including:

  • Employment of workers from non-traditional sources of the labour market – including part-time and recent migrants who possess transferable skills
  •  Utilisation of the rural and remote labour force
  • Promoting the rail sector as a career path at school and community levels
  • Increasing training as a recruitment and retention tool
  • Expanding the numbers of trainers and assessors to provide flow-on impacts at the business level.

TLISC released the discussion paper to provide stakeholders with the key findings from the 2012 Environmental Scan (E-Scan) industry consultation process prior to publication of the E-Scan in February.

The 2012 E-Scan process highlights the challenges and opportunities impacting Australia’s entire transport and logistics industry, as well as detailing key findings relating to skills and labour shortages in the Logistics Management, Road Transport and Warehousing; Aviation; Maritime; Rail and Ports sectors.

Interested stakeholders are invited to provide comment on any of the findings Monday 30th January 2012.

For further information contact:
Amanda Thomas
Phone: (02) 6163 7227

Leanne Mundy
Phone: (02) 6163 7209

TLISC’s E-Scan will be available for download as of February at:

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