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New Zealand’s First Rail School Opens

New Zealand’s First Rail School Opens

A shortage of skilled workers in the rail industry has prompted operations and maintenance services provider, Transfield Services, to launch New Zealand’s first rail school.

Transfield Services, which maintains the country’s entire rail network, is launching a NZQA accredited rail school which will recruit and train people to join its rail workforce.

Tony Fisher, general manager of Transfield Services said that the initiative would provide enormous benefits in terms of upskilling and growing the rail industry and through a partnership with Work and Income, will provide jobs for the organisation’s clients.

“Transfield Services maintains more than 4200 kilometres of track in New Zealand so our commitment to the rail industry is huge,” said Mr Fisher.

“We need more people to inject youth and skills into an industry that has an aging workforce and with the Government committed to major expenditure on rail infrastructure in New Zealand the industry needs to be prepared. Training and technical institutes no longer provide courses in areas such as rail maintenance so in order to ensure we have a skilled workforce ready to tackle the job we have had to invest significantly in a training programme.

“We are taking people off the dole and guaranteeing them a job as a trainee track worker if they successfully complete the course and pass Transfield Services’ selection criteria. We hope that being paid to train – and at above average pay rates – will attract young people who want a career in rail,” concluded Mr Fisher.

Work and Income’s Auckland Regional Commissioner, Isabel Evans, says the partnership will have many benefits for both job seekers and the rail industry.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Work and Income clients to gain industry-recognised skills as well as a career. At the same time, it will provide the rail industry with the skilled staff it is looking for.”

Isabel Evans says Work and Income is committed to working with individual industries to solve skills shortages.

“Working together with industry to meet the needs of employers is one of the main ways we can provide our clients with opportunities to find sustainable employment.”

The New Zealand Rail School opens with the first intake of 24 students start a four week introduction to track maintenance course on Tuesday 4th May.

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