Inland Rail Skills Academy helping students prepare for the real world

ARTC's Inland Rail Skills Academy will today launch a pilot program aimed at helping high school students gain work experience and skills development in the rail and STEM industries.

February 23, 2021

Flagstone State Community College students attending Grand Opportunities launch.

The program, titled Grand Opportunities, delivers on the Inland Rail Skills Academy goal to  support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education to build skills in occupations which are part of major infrastructure projects .

ARTC Inland Rail Director of Planning, Communications, Stakeholder Relations Rebecca Pickering said the Grand Opportunities program aims to bridge the gap between education and the real world for high school students, so they are better prepared for entering the workforce.

Mrs Pickering said Inland Rail is set to not only change the way Australia moves freight around Australia but be a catalyst for positive change in many communities along the  rail alignment.

“STEM programs are a key component of the Inland Rail Skills Academy, and through the virtual workshops, we’re making it accessible for students,” said Mrs Pickering.

“Grand Opportunities is part of ARTC’s ongoing commitment to grow skills in rail by working closely with industry partners to deliver in our local communities and regions around Australia,” she said.

“One of the key ways ARTC delivers on this commitment is by increasing capabilities of school students in STEM for rail industries through programs like Grand Opportunities,” said Mrs Pickering.

“We’ll start the program in Queensland and then roll it out to other states, and given the early interest, we anticipate it will be very popular,” she said.

Students will work through the four-hour workshops in their own time and once a month join in a group conversation with an industry representative, which is facilitated by education and work experience company Grandshake.

Dhawal Nayak, Chief Executive Officer of the Grand Company said the new Skills Academy partnership with Grandshake is a perfect collaboration.

“Grandshake is proud to partner with Inland Rail, which takes us a step closer to our mutual goal of removing barriers to STEM education and ensuring students gain the knowledge and connections necessary to pursue careers in major projects such as Inland Rail,” he said.

The program of virtual work experience is a series of six workshops which are provided online to high school students at their schools.

The workshops curriculum includes the following:

  • Sustainability in Rail (launching at the event)
  • Digital technology in Rail
  • Environment and Rail – Geoscience/Tech
  • Building Rail – Civil & Construction
  • Operating Rail – Rail Systems & Signalling
  • Maintaining Rail – Track & Systems maintenance

More information on the Inland Rail Skills Academy can be found online.


Media contact: Alex Bernard | Mobile 0438 656 755


  • Other Inland Rail Skills Academy initiatives include STEM on Track, the Inland Rail Scholarships program, the Inland Rail Skills program in an ARTC and the Australasian Railway Association partnership.
  • Grandshake is part of the Grand Company, connecting education to the real-world through collaborative partnerships with employers and schools to help students develop the skills needed to help them enter the workforce.

February 23, 2021


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