Technician is training skills quality maintenance for new workers

Works to complete Stage 2 of the $5.6 million specialist METRONET Trade Training Centre are underway, with the new facility to provide training for future rail projects.

Developed in consultation with industry, this project will deliver Western Australia’s first dedicated public facility to support training for jobs in the rail industry and meet the diverse training needs of the METRONET program at North Metropolitan TAFE’s Midland campus.

The $4.6 million Stage 2 works include construction of a dual-track level crossing, including a maintenance track and crossover, a standalone Signalling Equipment Room to enable hands-on training in using and maintaining signal equipment, and a section of rail line for training in maintenance of various gauges of rail.

The contract for the design and construction of Stage 2 works was awarded to John Holland Rail. 

Western Australian Minister for Education and Training, Sue Ellery, said the Western Australian Government is committed to ensuring Western Australians have the skills they need to capitalise on huge investment in transport infrastructure and meet workforce demands.

“Major projects such as METRONET are creating thousands of local jobs and opportunities for local businesses,” Ms Ellery said.

“The METRONET Trade Training Centre is the first dedicated public facility of its kind and industry helped shape its development.

“This project builds on our record $215.8 million investment to carry out significant TAFE upgrades across the state, creating world-class learning opportunities and generating a pipeline of jobs.”

Once completed, the METRONET Trade Training Centre will upskill workers for:

  • Construction and maintenance of the METRONET network and rail rolling stock
  • Rail operations and signalling to support WA’s wider rail networks owned and operated by the State Government and resource companies 

The new facility will provide local training for METRONET projects, which are creating job opportunities for local workers, pre-apprentices and apprentices.

Stage 1 works, completed in October 2020 by M/Construction, included the creation of rail signalling workshops and introduction of electrical rail signalling qualifications to complement the range of engineering qualifications supporting METRONET manufacturing and maintenance.

They enabled a pilot group of employees from Rio Tinto, John Holland Group and Hitachi to commence a Certificate IV in Electrical Rail Signalling from semester one, 2021, and people with a Western Australian electrical licence to undertake a Certificate IV in Electrical Rail Signalling from semester two, 2021.

The new facilities will also cater to the increased demand for training driven by the expansion of the ‘Lower fees, local skills’ initiative. Many courses included in the program are essential to METRONET, including:

  • Certificate II and III in Automotive Electrical Technology
  • Certificate II and III in Electrotechnology
  • Certificate II in Engineering (Heavy Fabrication; Light Fabrication; Mechanical Fitter and Machinist)
  • Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (Heavy/Welding YH; Light YC; Fitter and Machinist ZB; Mechanical Fitter ZA)
  • Certificate II in Engineering Pathways
  • Certificate IV in Engineering
  • Certificate IV in Electrical – Instrumentation
  • Diploma of Engineering – Advanced Trade

Western Australian Minister for Transport, Rita Saffioti, said these METRONET works are creating thousands of local jobs and the State Government aims to make sure that local workers have the opportunity to deliver these projects.

“The METRONET Trade Training Centre will train workers in construction, signalling and maintenance of rolling stock,” Ms Saffioti said.

“Combined with our METRONET Bellevue Railcar Facility, we are returning railcar manufacturing jobs and traineeships to the Midland area.”

Construction of Stage 2 is expected to be completed towards the end of 2022, with training set to commence in the new facilities early next year.

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