The Inland Rail Skills Academy will provide $500,000 in funding to support 13 Clontarf Academies along the rail corridor in Queensland and New South Wales to help boost school retention, develop leadership and create pathways to employment through training opportunities for Indigenous regional youth.
ARTC Inland Rail Interim Chief Executive Rebecca Pickering said Inland Rail is set to not only change the way Australia moves freight between all mainland states, but will act as a catalyst for positive change in many regional communities along the rail alignment.
“A major focus of Inland Rail has been on building skills for these communities to participate in this once-in-a-generation project as well as future projects,” she said. “The Inland Rail Skills Academy is a catalyst for them to achieve that. This partnership between the Academy and Clontarf will deliver programs which build skills and prosperity in local communities.
“We need to have people ready to capitalise on the opportunities that Inland Rail will bring. The Inland Rail Skills Academy is about facilitating opportunities for those willing to take the first step and we are very much in step with what the Clontarf Foundation is trying to achieve by improving the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of our Indigenous youth.
“Rail and associated industries are projected to experience skills shortages in the near future. The Inland Rail Skills Academy will facilitate training to increase the chances of local people to fill these positions as well as building their capability in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and connecting them with industry best practice.
“We are committed to playing our part in upskilling the nation and ensuring that different groups of people are given the opportunity to help build Inland Rail. Through the Inland Rail Skills Academy, we are supporting regional students to study and that contributes positively to the many regional communities along the Inland Rail corridor.”
The Clontarf Foundation operates academies in schools across Australia providing structure and daily support for Indigenous youth. ARTC is supporting their goals around school retention, development of soft skills including leadership and links to employment and training opportunities for those academies along the Inland Rail alignment.
Clontarf Foundation spokesperson Gerard Neesham said through the partnership, students at the Ambrose Treacy College (Indooroopilly), Goondiwindi, Toowoomba (Harristown, Toowoomba and Wilsonton), Moree, Narrabri, Dubbo (South Dubbo, Delroy Senior School), Narromine, Coonamble and Wagga Wagga will have access to programs facilitated by the Inland Rail Skills Academy.