Inland Rail helps local businesses develop skills to secure major works
Over 60 local businesses, including 11 First Nations businesses in Albury, Wagga Wagga, and Forbes are becoming increasingly competitive when it comes to winning work on major projects in the region – including Inland Rail - having attended the second round of workshops within the ‘Pathway to Opportunities’ Supplier Capability Development Program, an initiative of the Inland Rail Skills Academy.
Along with preparing for major project procurement processes, participants also networked with representatives from Martinus Rail, Inland Rail’s principal contractor for the Albury to Illabo and Stockinbingal to Parkes enhancement works.
The key business support program is being delivered by Deborah Wilson Consulting Services and comprises five workshops over nine months with one-on-one mentoring support available to participating businesses in between.
The third round of workshops will be held at the end of November, with a focus on meeting project requirements and business development. Future sessions will help participants understand how to manage contracts for work on major projects and within regional supply chains.
When working in regional communities Inland Rail works hard to engage with local businesses and suppliers. On the Narrabri to North Star (Phase 1) section Inland Rail spent $244 million with 137 local businesses supplying to the project.
Businesses interested in participating in future workshops are encouraged to register their interest online.
Brad Wighton, Owner & Manager, 1st Class Landscaping Services, said:
‘We’re just a small business at the moment, but I see with the Inland Rail and other large infrastructure projects going ahead in the area that there is a real opportunity to grow our business, and I want to be a part of that.
‘We’re a proud 100% Indigenous owned business. I’d love the chance to bring more staff onto our team and help train them, work with more young people from our community and give them the chance to get skilled up and earn a good living. That’s the plan.
‘This is all about making sure we’re ready to get involved when things really get going here. Inland Rail is working closely with communities like ours to create legacies that’ll keep growing long after the freight trains are running.’
Stephen Jones, Inland Rail Director of Health, Safety and Environment, said:
‘Inland Rail projects spanning from Albury to Parkes present real opportunities for local and First Nations businesses to get involved.
‘While we’re expecting to generate direct and indirect supply and job opportunities during construction, we’re also working to prepare communities for other project opportunities by helping to upskill local businesses.
‘Local businesses are crucial to regional communities and to the delivery of Inland Rail. Supporting them to build their capability will not only help them embark on new endeavours, but it will help drive positive change and boost employment along the alignment’.
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