Trainees on the fast track to rail skills

Twelve newly-arrived Brisbane residents will jump aboard the skills train to join a specially-designed construction program at train stations on the city’s north side.

Queensland Rail is partnering with Brisbane-based not-for-profit Multicultural Development Australia (MDA Ltd) to help deliver a paid traineeship program out of its Geebung depot, giving new migrants job-ready skills and qualifications.

Member for Aspley Bart Mellish said the trainees will work on projects to spruce-up stations across the north of the city.

“They will learn from QR’s expert crews and gain practical experience in construction on projects that will benefit passengers,” Mr Mellish said.

“MDA secured funding for the program through the Palaszczuk Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative for an exciting program that will provide trainees with the skills they need to get jobs and create a lasting impact for the local community.”

Mr Mellish said the trainees would work with Queensland Rail and TAFE until March 29 on projects including graffiti removal, car park and garden maintenance and working with plumbers, painters and carpenters to repair station buildings.

“They will finish their training with a Certificate 1 in Construction and equipped to take advantage of employment opportunities,” he said.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the program followed the launch of Queensland’s first-ever school-based rail training program earlier this year with TAFE SkillsTech.

“Australia’s rail industry employs more than 140,000 people and contributes more than $26 billion towards the national economy each year, and it’s important that we continue to foster job growth in this sector as well as other transport industries,” Mr Bailey said.

“Through Queensland Rail’s programs with MDA and TAFE Skillstech, we’re helping to equip jobseekers with valuable skills and encourage them to consider a career in a rail-based trade.”

MDA CEO Kerrin Benson said as part of the program, MDA would also employ a project supervisor to help guide trainees in gaining their qualifications.

“We’re excited to launch the program, because not only does it give our trainees practical experience and qualifications, it also importantly helps them make a positive contribution in the community and build a better life in Australia,” Ms Benson said.

“Our trainees are definitely eager to learn all they can from the Queensland Rail staff and to help breathe new life into the city’s northside stations for commuters and locals to enjoy.”

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said the trainees would join more than 32,800 Queenslanders who have already participated in the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to creating jobs and making sure Queenslanders are job-ready.

“Through our Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, we’re investing more than $80 million to assist Queenslanders who have struggled to get a job with training opportunities so they can gain meaningful employment,” Ms Fentiman said.

“The Queensland Rail and MDA partnership are one of a number of projects that benefit from this initiative, including Marist 180, SANDBAG and Busy At Work.

“The government is hosting a Skills and Industry Summit where 200 delegates will discuss the future of work and skills challenges at the end of the month.

“We want to make sure we are investing in the right training and skills for Queenslanders to take advantage of career and job opportunities now and into the future.”

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