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Skills recognition in the Australian rail industry Opportunities and challenges Presenters: Anne Morrison & Katie Maher.

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Presentation on theme: "Skills recognition in the Australian rail industry Opportunities and challenges Presenters: Anne Morrison & Katie Maher."— Presentation transcript:

1 Skills recognition in the Australian rail industry Opportunities and challenges Presenters: Anne Morrison & Katie Maher

2 ‘Is it something that looks like it’s been issued from a cornflake packet?’

3 Skills Recognition An assessment process which 'formally acknowledges skills, abilities and knowledge obtained through previous study, work experience and/or life experiences'. Wodonga TAFE (n.d.) Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Recognition of Current Competency (RCC)

4 Volunteer work Unpaid work Life experience Informal learning Non-formal learning Formal learning CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Photograph: Sascha Grant

5 Can be initiated by Job applicant Employee Employer Registered Training Organisation (obligatory)

6 Can be used when Entering the industry Moving between organisations Moving within an organisation Leaving the organisation or industry

7 100,000 + rail employees Operations Drivers Controllers Station staff Transit guards Infrastructure Engineers Signal Technicians Track workers Maintainers Corporate Human Resources Administration Finance IT

8 Methodology: 58 interviews 74 interviewees 19 organisations Private rail Public rail RTOs

9 Industry partners

10 'We’ve got so many people … who I believe should have a formal recognition of their skills. I see the possibilities as endless really within our organisation'.

11 'Training is the easier option. Stick them in on the course so they get that unit of competency, rather than trying to RPL them and find the evidence for it'.

12 Challenges Lack of national harmonisation Gauges Codes of practice Regulations Signals

13 Caution (New South Wales) Clear - Normal Speed (Victoria) Clear - Maximum Speed (USA)

14 'The risks of SR, if you get it wrong, you can kill someone. And that’s very, very real'. CC-By-2.0 Photo: Louise Docker

15 Validity and rigour 'I don’t know how I’d feel if someone did an RPL for brain surgery and they didn’t actually do a practical'.

16 'Change is very difficult in this industry' Inertia CC BY 3.0 Photograph: Samuel Wittwer

17 Equity and diversity 'Some of them had a hard time proving to me that they had [skills and experience], both migrants and Indigenous … Could be cultural differences, maybe I missed some of their subtle movements'.

18 Opportunities - an HRM perspective Value pre-existing skills and knowledge Formalise skills and knowledge Reduce repeat training time Reduce off-the-job training time Increase time for hands-on experience Fast-track to a qualification

19 Attraction 'I wouldn’t have continued the apprenticeship if they were to make me start it again … I would have gone elsewhere'.

20 Retention 'Actually we just lost two or three up north. They seem to be filling their gender issue up there with our girls, pinching them, so good luck to them'. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Photograph: Puddles

21 Morale and wellbeing 'Suddenly they’ve got a qualification, and they think Wow all this work I’ve been doing all these years actually stands for something. It means that I’ve got this level of knowledge and skills and I can tell you what it really makes a difference to a lot of people'.

22 Maximising existing capabilities 'There are certainly people within the organisation that have skills that are not utilised'.

23 Qualifying the workforce 'There’s a lot of people been working here for years and years, but they probably couldn’t produce a piece of paper saying Here’s my qualification, but they are very qualified people'.

24 Identifying skills gaps 'It’s become even more critical for us to undergo an RPL process, to identify not only existing competencies but to identify gaps'.

25 Fast-tracking 'We don’t necessarily have a formal RPL process, but you can actually fast track that guy’s training and assessment because you recognise skills that he or she already possesses'.

26 Workforce planning 'what skills are required, how many people do we need with this skill?' CC-BY-2.5 Johnno Shadbolt

27 Under-utilised in rail Skills Recognition Attraction Retention Staff morale Workforce development Workforce planning

28 Not something out of a cornflake packet


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