The Victorian Government has launched a new initiative to help women enter the rail industry, with training, apprenticeships, and jobs included in the scheme.
Women on Track is part of the $8 million Apprenticeship Innovation Fund which helps more women enter into traditionally male-dominated fields – giving jobseekers the chance to get real-life experience manufacturing and maintaining Melbourne’s trains, while undertaking a Certificate II in Electrotechnology.
The practical component is being undertaken as part of the High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMT) Project which is delivering 70 trains, the largest single order of trains in Victoria’s history.
The program includes a bridging course to ensure they are supported with the skills to gain the necessary licences to work in trades-based roles in the rail industry.
Victorian Minister for Public Transport and Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, Ben Carroll, said there are so many exciting opportunities in our rail industry.
“We’re supporting women who want to pursue a meaningful and well-paid career in a traditionally male-dominated area,” Mr Carroll said.
“We have 23 HCMTs now in passenger service on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines with a full service expected for summer – and they’re trains built right here in Melbourne.”
Women on Track is a collaboration between the Government, leading rollingstock asset management services provider Downer, Holmesglen TAFE, Hallam Secondary College and Doveton Hallam Community Learning Network.
The $8 million Apprenticeship Innovation Fund is supporting more people from under-represented groups into apprenticeships, with almost $5 million specifically allocated to support women into meaningful and well-paid careers in traditionally male-dominated trades such as automotive, electrical, plumbing and aviation.
Holmesglen TAFE Centre for Energy and Infrastructure Associate Director, Dr Ross Digby, said, “This program is giving more women learning and job opportunities, ensuring that the participants have the skills, knowledge, confidence and work history to undertake a long-term career in the rail sector.”
Since 2014, the Victorian Government has made a record $3.2 billion investment to rebuild TAFE and support universities and higher education to ensure Victorians have access to high quality education and rewarding career pathways.
In line with NAIDOC week, a HCMT displaying artwork by Wurundjeri woman Mandy Nicholson, will hit the tracks from next week chosen from a group of works by Victorian First Nations artists.
A full HCMT service is on track to be running on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines this Summer.