OPPORTUNITY: Minister for Multicultural Affairs Glen Elmes announces further funding for the masterclass migrant services program with (back from left) Sean Choat, Felicity Bubb from Rail Skills Australasia and Ian Berry.
OPPORTUNITY: Minister for Multicultural Affairs Glen Elmes announces further funding for the masterclass migrant services program with (back from left) Sean Choat, Felicity Bubb from Rail Skills Australasia and Ian Berry. Kate Czerny

Workshops Rail Museum to upskill migrants for rail industry

THE Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich is set to be the site for a ramped up training program for skilled migrants to gain employment locally in the rail industry.

The State Government yesterday committed a further $37,500 to the rail masterclass migrant services program.

Rail Skills Australasia industry engagement manager Felicity Bubb said 25 migrants would start training in February at the workshops with a view to be working in the industry in south-east Queensland.

"They will be doing a range of different programs, focusing on anything from engineering to rail operations and rail infrastructure," she said.

"There is $16 billion worth of railway to be built in Queensland in the next three years so this provides a great opportunity for the growing needs of professional skills in Queensland.

"Bombardier, with their 30 year contract at Wulkuraka for the maintenance and construction of the 76 six-car rail wagons, have expressed an interest in a number of graduates from the migrant masterclass program."

Multicultural Affairs Minister Glen Elmes said the opportunities to work in rail were vast, not just locally at then new generation rolling stock depot in Wulkuraka, but also with the Moreton Bay Rail Link and Galilee basin Alpha Project.

"We have got some talented professional people who are coming to live in Australia from overseas and bringing those valuable skills with them," he said.

"So we are wanting to get them into projects like this….and get them to work in their preferred job."

Mr Elmes' father got his start at the Workshops Rail Museum so yesterday's announcement was a poignant one for him.

"In the time I have been the minister this is my third or fourth visit to the museum," he said.

"We started the (training) process last December with the grant I announced then, and we are extending it.

"To have people training in this building again and, as the minister, knowing my father got his start here as an apprentice tool maker many years ago is a really special thing for me."

Ipswich West MP Sean Choat said it was ideal to provide an opportunity for people trained in Ipswich to work here.

"I have a training and rail background, so it is fantastic to have people trained here," Mr Choat said.

"We do have a big influx of migrant people into the community. How great is it if they can get a qualification because I am confident we have a positive history ahead of us in rail with what is happening at Wulkuraka.

"Aurizon was doing work for QR but they have sold their facility, but I'd like to see us doing the current generation of QR trains at Karrabin and also have the new generation stock at Wulkuraka."



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