Rail construction projects around Australia are expanding, with rail projects dotted around the country, such as Sydney’s light rail and Metro system, and Queensland upgrading the Cross River Rail.
This growing trend has generated an increase in job opportunities for, not only construction labourers, but an array of other positions in order to ensure timely completion.

Some of the most prominent rail projects that are currently underway or in the pipelines, include:

Rail has been a major focus of federal investment and will continue to be in the foreseeable future. This is because as Australia’s population continues to swell, more and more pressure will be placed on the existing rail infrastructure systems. Since the public rail system is one of the more efficient ways to transport large volumes of people, this will be the primary focus of future investment. Greater coverage and improved connectivity in Australia’s rail network will help to ease congestion and stimulate economic activity. To keep Australia moving and prevent society from crumbling under the pressure of population growth, the development of rail infrastructure is the key.

Public transport is not the only side of rail infrastructure that will be boosted. Freight rail is also a key element in ensuring that Australia continues to grow and remain competitive on a global-scale. Freight rail is integral to the growth of Australia, as it enables businesses in a range of industries to serve their customers, and allows for the transportation of raw materials for both import and export. Freight is a key contributor to the country’s overall economic well being and a much more environmentally-friendly mode of mass transportation.
The government is expected to continue funnelling funding into enhancing Australia’s freight rail network. The greater connectivity that improved rail infrastructure creates, will assist in future-proofing Australia.

Rail Construction Employment Trends & Jobs

Employment in the realm of rail construction is currently very fruitful, thanks to the boom in projects across the country. According to the Australasian Railway Association (ARA), the rail industry currently supports approximately 200,000 direct and indirect jobs. The recent spike in rail projects is expected to boost opportunities in the job market further.
New South Wales and Queensland are currently experiencing the highest amounts of growth in rail infrastructure of 37.1% and 34.1%, respectively.

Some of the jobs that will become available due to the rail construction boom, include:

- Electricians
- Trades Assistants
- Civil Construction Labourers
- Construction Managers
- Foremen
- Welders/Boilermakers
- Machine Operators
- General & Skilled Labourers
- Traffic Controllers

Due to the wide variety of skills and experiences required to make these projects a reality, labour hire has become a popular employment solution for rail projects.
Labour hire agencies are often approached by major construction companies and employers for infrastructure projects as it allows them to scale their workforce up and down depending on the needs of the site. For example, if the project is running behind schedule, the site manager can simply request additional workers to help out. Labour hire services help construction companies save valuable time and money, as recruitment can often be a lengthy process.

Another reason why labour hire agencies are fast becoming a major supplier of workers, is that they are often able to quickly source workers that have specialised skills, tickets and qualifications. This is because labour hire agencies often possess a large database of workers with a variety of skill sets, so they can quickly find a candidate that will be suitable for the role. If they do not immediately have a worker that matches the brief, labour hire agencies have the expertise to be able to promptly find someone that does.

What Do You Need?

If you’re looking to work in the rail construction industry, it’s imperative to carry a Rail Industry Worker (RIW) card. This is compulsory across the sector, as it provides the worker’s details and proof of competency. Since, the RIW card is linked to the Australian Railway Association’s online database that contains their licences, tickets, certificates and qualifications, it allows employers to verify that they are able to perform the work.

Another basic requirement of working on a construction site, is a White Card. White Cards are compulsory for all construction workers, and provides evidence that the worker has completed the OH&S General Construction Induction training course. The training goes over information surrounding relevant work, health and safety (WHS) regulations, common construction site hazards, and strategies to manage them.

To land a position on a rail construction project, it would also be beneficial to hold other tickets, as it shows breadth and flexibility in your skills. Some tickets and qualifications that would help to boost your application include:

  • Working at Heights Ticket
    - Elevated Working Platform Ticket
    - High Risk Work Licences - such as crane licences, forklift licences, etc.

Now, is a good time for civil construction jobs, as the number of positions have exploded thanks to the increase in rail construction projects currently underway, or in the pipelines. Also, the duration of these projects and the continued investment into this sector indicates that job prospects in rail construction are relatively stable.

If you’re looking for a position in the rail industry, contact us at Workfast Labour Hire! We’ll happily assist you in finding a position we may have available, so don’t hesitate to give us a call on 1300 824 403 or sign up on our website.