Rail Signalling Cadets work towards their dream

With Victoria delivering an unprecedented amount of rail network infrastructure, the need for well-trained and qualified professionals is high.

Training for the Future (TFTF) is the Victorian Government’s skills and industry capability development program that creates a sustainable, capable and inclusive talent pipeline and supply chain for Victoria’s rail and infrastructure projects.

Rail signal engineering is a skill area of high demand in Victoria. Identifying this skill gap was key for the Victorian Government when creating the Rail Signalling Engineer Cadet Program.

The program provides a fully paid, three-year cadetship at a range of Australia’s biggest rail and construction operators.

Amandeep has just completed her first rotation as part of the 2021 cohort. She commenced on the program after spending several years out of the workforce to focus on raising her children.

“I always wanted to work in the rail signalling industry but lacked the skills to do so. The cadetship presented me with a golden opportunity to get back in the game and build my career,” Amandeep said.

Her first rotation was spent with the Level Crossing Removal Project, where she had the opportunity to work and explore across a range of different skill areas of rail signalling. Amandeep spoke fondly of the support she has received during her first rotation and the ability for her to learn and contribute to the teams she is a part of.

“I know rail signalling is a highly specialised field, but I have found the variety of tasks helped to enhance my skills,” she said.

The program not only supports her journey into a rewarding career but also serves as way for her to give back to community. She recalls being approached by an elderly woman and her granddaughter while working in Melbourne’s south-east.

“The little girl thanked me for our work and told me she will love to help us build bridges when she grows up,” said Amandeep. “That was something I will remember for my lifetime.”

Amandeep is not alone in her experience, with a total of 47 cadets having been employed over the program’s life. Recruitment for the 2022 program has now been finalised with 13 cadets ready to be immersed in the rail industry next year.

Amandeep urges others thinking of applying in the future to take up this life changing opportunity.

“You’ll have a promising career in a supportive community, where people are willing to share their years of experience and knowledge with you. Looking back in 20 years, we can proudly say we contributed to making Victoria a safer place.”