Helping communities get ‘Inland Rail ready’

We're working with local organisations to help communities make the most of opportunities flowing from Australia’s largest freight rail project.

Workshop participants Jason Pearce (L) and Adrian Davison (R) with trainer Damian Blinman (C) posing for a photograph during the Constructions skills training workshop, Moree, New South Wales. Images taken at a training session held at the Moree Waste Facility Site run by Moree Plains Shire Council.

Midway through 2020, the Inland Rail Skills Academy partnered with the Narrabri, Moree Plains and Gwydir Shire Councils and the LDO Group training organisation to offer construction training workshops for local job seekers. The specialised training program, funded by Training NSW, gave participants experience in operating plant machinery to gain the necessary tickets and accreditation to work on construction sites such as Inland Rail’s Narrabri to North Star project.

One of the first participants was Jason Pearce, a born and bred Moree local.

“I saw this course as a really good opportunity to upskill with a view to gaining employment in a new industry,” Mr Pearce said.

“Country towns have suffered a lot during the past few years with the drought and now the COVID-19 pandemic, and I think it’s a really good initiative to try and bring some employment into the town and boost the community.”

Moree Plains Shire Council Regional Activation Manager Mark Connolly said there was an extremely positive response from the local community to participate in the training program.

“Many of the participants already had experience operating machinery but lacked the required qualifications to work on a construction site such as the Inland Rail,” Mr Connolly said. “The delivery of this training program will ensure our locals are job-ready for the Narrabri to North Star construction.”

Mr Connolly said many local businesses had also participated in local supplier engagement workshops and are motivated to get involved with the project. Since early in 2020, the Inland Rail Skills Academy’s been hosting workshops to help local businesses learn about supplying to Inland Rail with topics including health, safety and environment requirements; effective contract management on large projects; becoming a high performance sub-contractor; and tendering and working in major project environments.

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