Transport & Logistics Industry Skills Council. Environmental Scan Rail Supplement ENVIRONMENTAL

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1 Transport & Logistics Industry Skills Council Environmental Scan Rail Supplement ENVIRONMENTAL scan21

2 Rail Industry - Identified Workforce Development Needs The Australian Rail sector employs more than 4, people directly and another 6, indirectly. An efficient, effective and safe rail system is required to meet Australia's short and long-term transport needs. Rail competes nationally and internationally to attract, develop and retain essential staff to ensure continuing services and meet increasing demand. The Australian Government has announced the establishment of a single national rail safety regulator to address the disjointed, state-based arrangements in place. The introduction of a single national system could lead to productivity and capacity gains of up to 3 per cent. Occupations in Skill Demand Occupation / Qualification Train Driver/Locomotive Driver (particularly heavy haulage) Certificate III in Transport & Logistics (Rail Operations) Certificate IV in Transport & Logistics (Rail Operations) Railway Track Worker Certificate II in Rail Infrastructure Certificate III in Transport & Logistics (Rail Infrastructure) Certificate IV in Transport & Logistics (Rail Infrastructure) Railway Signal Operator Certificate III in Transport and Logistics (Rail Operations) Justification / Evidence This occupation is characterised by a low number of new entrants and an ageing workforce. The average age of Locomotive Drivers is higher than that of the workforce in general, indicating that a large proportion of Locomotive Drivers will hit retirement age in the next 2 years. This makes the skills shortages more acute for this occupation. 12 The shortage of skills is confirmed by numerous reports from the industry and government. During 29, the Victoria Government established a Parliamentary Inquiry into Skills Shortages in the Rail Industry. 3 Skills shortages in this occupation are mainly attributed to lack of external training for track workers. Traditionally, all training has been conducted by track managers. There is significant stratification of the workforce, with a split between entry-level Track Workers who require substantial on-thejob training and highly experienced Track Workers nearing retirement age. In general, the demographic profile of the rail workforce is not favourable, with approximately 4 per cent reaching retirement age in the next five years. Employers report that they are able to find workers with basic labouring skills, but there is a significant amount of on-the-job training required before workers become competent in the most highly technical tasks. This adds financial and time pressure on Track Operators/Managers. The workforce at entry-level is also highly mobile and possesses skills that are valued by the Mining and Construction industries. This has led to strong labour market competition for skills, which causes higher levels of turnover, particularly in Queensland and Western Australia. 4 This occupation has undergone significant change, with parts of the role being replaced with technological solutions. This has required workers to have higher-level skills to be able to deal with increasingly complex and upgraded rail signalling and communications systems. This has caused a shortage of Signal Operators who are capable of fulfilling the expanded role. 5 1

3 Occupation / Qualification Rail Engineer Occupation identified as a skill shortage aligns to a higher education qualification. Included here owing to interdependence with related VET qualification. Rail Plant Driver/Operator Certificate II in Rail Infrastructure. Certificate III in Transport & Logistics (Rail Infrastructure) Justification / Evidence Shortages in this area are a part of global and local shortage of engineers. This is compounded by time intensity and high costs of converting graduate engineers into specialised rail engineers and limited rail-specific educational opportunities. 6 The Rail sector specifically needs civil, project, signalling and communication, and rolling stock engineers. Strong demand for these skills arising from significant government investment in rail infrastructure upgrades is placing more pressure on a limited labour pool. There is evidence of skill shortages across a wide range of engineering disciplines nationally and internationally. Specialisation in the rail sector often means that engineers need to develop very specific cross-disciplinary skills, which can be hard to replace when vacancies occur. The resources and building and construction booms have also drawn engineering expertise away from the rail sector. It is competing nationally and internationally to attract, develop and retain essential engineering staff to ensure continuing services and to meet increasing demand. A major factor facing the rail sector is its ageing workforce, with an above-average cohort, and the rate at which retirement will remove a valuable skill/labour resource over the next five years This skill shortage relates to competition from other industries for these portable skills. Plant Drivers are in high demand in Resource sectors in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland, which puts pressure on skills shortages in Rail. 2 Barriers to Overcoming Skills and Labour Shortages Attracting rail track workers will remain a difficult task. Because the skills base at entry point can be easily transferred to other manual and labouring roles, the capacity for staff to move to other sectors is high. Another difficulty is attracting workers in regional and rural areas. The profile of track maintenance and other support roles is not high and it is a particular challenge to promote these roles in secondary schools as a worthwhile career path. Occupations requiring higher-order qualifications again compete with a wide range of graduate and postgraduate opportunities that are more attractive to aspiring engineers. Another barrier to attracting labour is the sector s poor attitude to cross-enterprise skilling, which creates a perception that career paths are narrow because it is difficult to move between operators. The rail sector, like other sectors, is unable to stockpile skills. Therefore, it can quickly find itself with insufficient labour to meet maintenance and development targets. New activity in the Resources Industry will draw highly skilled staff from metropolitan and regional rail enterprises.

4 Solutions and Potential Sources of Labour Solutions to the attraction and retention of rail employees should not be oversimplified. In a sector driven by large and often competing enterprises, there are many challenges in achieving a national approach. During 29 (and planned for 21), the Skills Council has worked closely with rail operators nationally to realign qualifications to actual job roles. This has provided a range of new qualifications for rail infrastructure and maintenance workers. It is expected that this work will support growth of training for the sector and the attraction and retention of new staff. For job roles that require higher-level qualifications, estimates indicate that there are not enough people either in or expected to enter training to meet demand. Given the time taken for graduates to emerge from higher education and to then identify with a rail career, the skill and labour shortages will likely remain or become worse in coming years. A solution that will require some analysis is the development of Foundation Degrees designed specifically for the rail sector. These would be broad-based, generic degrees that enable access to a wider range of rail occupations with potential pathways from Apprenticeships and Traineeships to higher-order roles. 3 1 Environmental Scan Survey 21. Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council Data drawn from DEEWR Labour Market Statistics Inquiry into Skill Shortages in the Rail Industry. Parliament of Victoria Environmental Scan Survey 21. Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council Environmental Scan Survey 21. Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council Submission to Inquiry into Skill Shortages in the Rail Industry. Engineers Australia. May 29.

5 Rail Qualifications Update Progress - 29 A qualification for Tram/Light Rail Driving and Monorail Operations was developed in response to a request from tram/light rail operators. A qualification for Rail Infrastructure Operations was developed in response to requests from the rail infrastructure sector. It contains specialised streams for the roles of: Track Maintainer/Installer, Track Surfacing, and Structures Inspection/Repair. These qualifications are aligned at the AQF Certificate II level. Twenty-five Skill Sets for Rail Infrastructure Operations have been added. These Skill Sets identify competencies that align with the newly developed Certificate II in Rail Infrastructure. They provide a flexible means of developing or recognising the competence of persons engaged in one or more discreet rail activities. Addition of 2 new units of competence for rail infrastructure. The units were developed to enhance the new Certificate II in Rail Infrastructure and newly developed Skill Sets. They were developed to recognise the competencies required for infrastructure workers and to align the units more closely with sector job roles/task clusters. Replacement of 25 units of competence for rail infrastructure. The units of competence were replaced as the original units were outdated and poorly aligned to actual job roles and tasks in rail infrastructure. Revision of two rail operation qualifications. The qualifications were revised following the inclusion of a new Tram/Light Rail Driving qualification. It provides a clear pathway to higher-level qualifications in rail operations. 4 Training Package Uptake Rail

6 Continuous Improvement 21 The continuous improvement register for rail qualifications has been developed in response to industry-identified needs for key rail occupations. The continuous improvement work program is managed by Rae Fossard, Training Package Specialist - Rail, assisted by a range of Technical Advisory Committees (TAC). The Rail Infrastructure TAC is working on the following qualifications which will be included in the TLI Training Package in 21. The qualifications are: TLI3**1 Certificate III in Rail Infrastructure This qualification is designed for persons engaged in the rail infrastructure environment who perform tasks involving construction and/or maintenance of rail track and some infrastructure such as Senior track workers, Gangers or similar as well as specialists in the areas of track welding and track examination. It provides specialisations in the following areas: Track Maintenance Track Construction Turnout Construction Track Welding Rail Tester Track Examiner TLI3**1 Certificate III in Rail Track Surfacing This is a qualification for persons engaged in the rail infrastructure environment who perform tasks involving the operation of rail track equipment, in particular in the reconditioning track TLI3**1 Certificate III in Rail Structures This qualification is intended for senior maintenance personnel engaged in the inspection and repair of rail structures. 5 TLI3**1 Certificate III in Mechanical Rail Signalling The Certificate III in Mechanical Rail Signalling recognises people who install and maintain mechanical rail signalling equipment. This has included the review of units specifically for this activity as well as the development of two new units: TLIB***1A Test mechanical signalling equipment and isolate faults, and TLIB**1A Install and maintain mechanical signalling locking and interlocking devices which has been developed by combining and updating two previous units In addition two Skill Sets have been developed. The first one is Install and maintain mechanical signalling locking and interlocking devices. It is intended for people who carry out specific activities including the installation and/or maintenance of mechanical signalling locking and interlocking devices, such as points and levers. The second is specifically for the maintenance of aerial signal/telecommunication lines and cables called Maintain aerial signal/telecommunication lines and cables. New Unit for Road-rail Vehicle Operation A new unit has been developed for the operation of road-rail vehicles on track. - TLIC***1A Operate road-rail vehicle on track. It expands on and compliments the unit TLIC419A Operate track vehicle on track which was revised in 29.

7 The Urban Train Operations TAC Two new qualifications are being developed initially for guard duties and driving an electric passenger train. This involves the review of a number of current units of competency and the development of new units to cover identified deficiencies. Once these have been completed we will begin development of qualifications for Advance Electric Passenger Train Driver. The Heavy Haul Train Operations TAC A new basic qualification is being developed for Heavy Haul Train Driving. As with other qualifications it involves the review of a number of current units of competency and the development of new units. This will also be followed by the development of qualifications for other heavy haul train operations including Terminal Driver, Advanced Heavy Haul Train Driver, Train Examiner and Shunter. The Network Control Operations TAC The Network Control TAC is working on the development of a new qualification for Train Controllers and Signal Operations. This includes developing new units of competency specifically for the identified occupations as well as reviewing current units within the TLI7 Training Package. If you would like to comment on these developments or require more information please contact Rae Fossard, at or This supplement is a companion to the 21 Transport and Logistics Environmental Scan. The full document can be found on the Transport and Logistic Industry Skill Council website The Environmental Scan aims to act as an early warning system for the Transport and Logistics Industry, government and the national training system. It provides contemporary and projected advice on the condition of Transport and Logistics sectors, their workforce planning and development needs and, in particular, their projected reliance on the national training system in the next 12 months. 6 The next Transport and Logistics Environmental Scan will be published in February 211.

8 Transport & Logistics Industry Skills Council Level 15, 628 Bourke Street I Melbourne VIC 3 t: e:

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