The Inland Rail Skills Academy has begun its new ‘Pathway to Opportunities’ Supplier Capability Development Program, which aims to support southern New South Wales businesses to take advantage of the Inland Rail roll-out. 

Around 70 local businesses, including 15 First Nations businesses, attended the first workshops – held in Albury, Wagga Wagga and Parke in July – that help businesses understand how to potentially secure future work on the Inland Rail program. 

The workshops included a presentation by Inland Rail Supply Chain Manager, Jason Manttan, technical sessions hosted by Deborah Wilson Consulting Services and experts in major project supply chain development, as well as interactive one-on-one and group support and networking.

The program will be delivered across five workshops over nine months, with one-on-one mentoring support available to participating businesses in between. 

The sessions will help participants to understand how to prepare compliant tender submissions, meet project compliance requirements, and manage contracts for work on major projects, and within regional supply chains.

Inland Rail encourages businesses interested in participating in future workshops to register their interest by visiting the registration page on the Inland Rail website.

Mr Manttan said that Inland Rail projects spanning from Albury to Parkes present real opportunities for local and First Nations businesses to get involved.

“It was fantastic to see such a great turn out at our first sessions, where local businesses were able to learn what it takes to supply to major projects across the region,” Mr Manttan said. 

“While we’re expecting to generate direct and indirect supply and job opportunities during construction, we’re also working to prepare communities for other project opportunities by helping to upskill local and First Nations businesses.

“Local businesses are crucial to regional communities and to the delivery of Inland Rail. Supporting them to build their capability will not only help them embark on new endeavours, but it will help drive positive change and boost employment along the alignment.”

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