Bringing the rail industry to university students

30 August 2023

ARA marked National Skills Week at the University of Canberra on Wednesday, showcasing its Work in Rail campaign to students preparing for their careers after graduation.

The ARA were joined by CMET at the Employer Connect event, highlighting the range of career opportunities available in rail.

Students studying software engineering were among the top group of students who visited the stand, followed by students studying building and construction management – two skillsets that the industry needs.

The students were eager to learn more about the range of major rail projects underway across Australia and New Zealand, and what they could expect from a career in rail. Students had the chance to visit the Work in Rail website to find out about key roles in the industry, what working in rail is like and what salaries they could expect to earn.

For those planning to work in the engineering field, there are a wide range of opportunities to build rich and rewarding careers in rail.

report by Engineers Australia published in February 2023 found engineering vacancies grew 80 per cent in the last two years alone, compared to 42 per cent for all averaged Australian occupation vacancies.

The ARA’s own research in 2018 predicted a 33.3 per cent skills gap for engineering professionals by this year, with workforce pressures only growing since that time.

With $155 billion in rail construction and maintenance activity planned over the next 15 years, there will be no shortage of work for graduating engineering students in the years to come.

While the statistics provide a compelling case for working in rail, the ARA also talked to students about the broader benefits of working in the industry.

Being able to help shape communities, see a project they have worked on come to life and hearing about the sense of community that the rail industry offers were all attractive qualities for the students to work in rail.