Young professionals in the rail sector have been recognised for their value, importance and qualities at the Young Rail Professionals Forum, Harnessing the workforce for the future.

The panel discussion was led by facilitator, Camille McGregor, Director of Client Strategy at Aurecon with panellists Tim Reardon, Secretary of Transport for NSW, Nicole Waterman, Technical Director at Laing O’Rourke, Anna Squire, NSW and ACT Infrastructure Leader at Arup and Matthew Aberline, Senior Project Manager and Chartered Civil Engineer at Aurecon.

Danny Broad, Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA), said it was a great opportunity for the rail industry to come together to discuss the future of the workforce.

“Rail is entering an exciting period as a result of unprecedented investment and expansion. This transformation, combined with an aging rail workforce provides the rail industry with a unique opportunity to embrace change and improve diversity in our rail workforce,” said Mr Broad.

“It is for this reason we meet today – so young and not so young can come together to share their knowledge and identify the opportunities and barriers to success, as well as identifying the route required to harnessing the workforce of the future.”

Mr Broad said, “The forum has identified some important issues, including the value of age and gender diversity in the workforce, what the job and organisational aspects are that attract and retain young professionals, what the value is of new skills versus experience and the importance of future technologies and disruptive thinking.

“It is important that as an industry we are on track to meet the needs of this current transformation we are seeing in the rail industry before we are faced with a skills shortage in the coming years when demand outweighs supply.

“Our industry needs a workforce that represents the customer – We know all too well that young people are users of our trains. As an industry we need to appeal to the people we transport and today’s forum is a step in the right direction of discussing the change that needs to come.”

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