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Feb 6, 2024

Welcome to the February edition of our newsletter!

As we enter another exciting year, we are thrilled to bring you the latest edition of our newsletter. 

We have recently started two training product development projects. The first one is in response to the Chain of Responsibility requirements across the transport and logistics industry. The second project, Marine Order 505, responds to regulatory requirements that affect the maritime industry. 

Good news for those who missed our insightful Marine 505 webinar: It's now available online and provides information about the project.  Click here to access it at your convenience to stay informed.

As we embark on this new year, our focus remains steadfast on driving innovation, fostering skills development, and ensuring our industries are well-equipped to face future challenges. We look forward to working closely with all stakeholders and keeping you updated through our newsletter, website and alerts.

Projects Update

Industry Skills Australia is proactively engaging in projects aimed at addressing both current and emerging skills requirements and workforce challenges. We recently initiated two training product development projects, one on the Chain of Responsibility requirements across the transport and logistics industry and the second responding to changes to maritime industry regulations in the Marine Order 505 project.

The Maritime project will align qualifications with Marine Order 505 (Certificates of Competency – National Law) for domestic commercial vessels. The Chain of Responsibility project will align Units of Competency with National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) requirements for industry to ensure the safety of transport activities.  

The initial Technical Committee meetings for both projects commenced in December 2023. 

The Technical Committee members are subject matter experts drawn from employers, unions, training providers, peak industry bodies, volunteer organisations, and regulators. The Committee stands for the life of the project.  

The draft products of both projects will be available for broader industry review and comment at various stages throughout the project. Public consultation details and feedback opportunities will be detailed on the ISA website and via project update emails.  

To view these projects, please follow these links:   

National Skills Passport Consultation

The Department of Education and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) are undertaking public consultation on a National Skills Passport. 

A National Skills Passport has the potential to make it easier for employees to demonstrate their skills, change jobs and upskill, while making it simpler for employers to hire new staff with the skills and qualifications they need.

Views are being sought from individuals (such as learners, jobseekers and employees), businesses, unions, tertiary institutions, and state, territory and local governments to understand the needs and demands of different parties.

Please visit the National Skills Passport Consultation page for a copy of the consultation paper and to access the submission form. 

Please note submissions close on 18 February 2024.

On the Right Track to Breaking Barriers: Jess Hutchinson's Inspiring Journey 

In the world of rail transport, an industry often dominated by men, Jess Hutchinson stands as a beacon of inspiration and change. Her journey from a small logistics business to the driver's seat of a locomotive at TasRail is not just a career shift but a story of determination, learning, and breaking gender stereotypes.

Jess's professional journey began in the administrative heart of a small logistics company. "I was initially employed as the Office Administrator and then quickly added warehouse supervisor to my responsibilities," Jess recalls. Her career took an unexpected turn when her brother, a Rail Operator, informed her of opportunities at TasRail. "The move to become a Train Driver seemed a bit random at first, but my brother encouraged me to apply, and that's how my journey with TasRail began," she shares.

In 2021, Jess started as a Trainee Rail Operator at TasRail's Brighton depot, a role that introduced her to a new world of hands-on work and diverse personalities. "Being a Rail Operator was a wonderful change. I enjoyed working outside and being hands-on," she says. Her brother Josh supported this transition, who played a pivotal role in encouraging her to take this new path.

Jess was surprised by the extensive training required to become a Rail Operator, quickly realising the importance of this due to the inherent risks of the job. "I disciplined myself to undertake additional self-directed learning to understand different braking systems in locomotives better," Jess explains, highlighting her commitment to excellence. The training was instrumental in her development, with the TasRail training department providing invaluable support.

Jess describes her role as a Train Driver as varied and exciting. "Some days, it's about driving trains from one place to another, or it can involve shunting trains together," she says. One of her favourite experiences is driving through Tasmania's beautiful countryside, an activity that combines her love for driving with her appreciation of nature.

For Jess, maintaining safety standards is crucial. "Ensuring I get enough sleep, eat properly, and stay vigilant about my surroundings is key to ensuring we all go home safe," she emphasises. She also acknowledges the initial daunting feeling new drivers experience and advises them to be constantly aware, especially in critical situations like shunting or approaching level crossings.

Jess's goal is clear: to continue as a Train Driver at TasRail, a role she has grown to love. Her timing in joining TasRail was opportune, allowing her to progress quickly. She is particularly proud of the increasing number of female colleagues in the industry and strongly encourages women to explore careers in the rail industry. "We now have eight female Rail Operators and Trainee Rail Operators across the state, and a female Trainer in Launceston," she notes. 

In conclusion, Jess Hutchinson's story is more than a career narrative; it's a testament to the evolving landscape of the rail industry and the breaking down of gender barriers. Her journey from managing office tasks to manoeuvring locomotives is a source of inspiration, proving that one can steer one's career onto exciting new tracks with determination and the right opportunities.

Photo: Jessica Hutchinson after winning the Tasmanian Transport Association’s Young Achiever Award, with TasRail GM Operations Chad Buchanan, CEO Steven Dietrich and Southern Branch Manager Chris Baric.


2024 Workforce Development Plans

We are grateful for the incredible response to our survey for the 2024 Workforce Plans.  
Your insightful responses have been instrumental in shaping our understanding of the challenges and drivers across the Transport and Logistics, Aviation, Maritime and Rail sectors. Each of your perspectives is a valuable part of this journey, helping us look for solutions that truly reflect the needs and aspirations of the workforce. 

If you would like to know more about your sector, please click below: 

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