Recruiter insights - Part 1: Opportunities for mid tier job seekers.

With the rise of megaprojects and a strong tender pipeline, there’s an abundance of opportunities for mid tier jobseekers right now.

In this article, we’ll discuss the current climate of the rail industry to help you identify and capitalise the opportunities in the market.  

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Job market is strong, but more skills are needed

A key challenge for the rail sector is the lack of skills and workforce to deliver major projects.  

CGC Recruitment has observed a demand for many roles, including:

  • systems engineers
  • safety assurance
  • signalling engineers
  • overhead wiring engineers
  • track designers
  • project directors  

While there’s a job shortage everywhere, the real shortages involve technical design positions and those able to deliver on top end billion dollar projects. 

Lack of access to skilled overseas workers and border closures plays a major role in the shortage. While skilled migration may provide a short-term solution, there needs to be a focus on training and upskilling our local labour.  

 

Upskilling in the rail industry

The skills gap in the mega project market has been exacerbated by the pandemic and the inability to tap into the worldwide talent pool.

One solution to overcome the challenge is to upskill existing staff.  

We’ve seen large Tier 1 contractors mentoring or re-training staff as they have the resources to do so. They also have the capacity to provide high remuneration to technical design candidates to attract and retain.

With lower funds available, smaller boutique companies are more focused on employing staff for specific billable projects, rather than looking at long-term retention via upskilling. 

To compete with Tier 1 contractors, smaller and mid tier organisations have had to re-evaluate salaries and think outside the box when it comes to retaining staff. While they can’t afford to match the large salaries a Tier 1 contractor can provide, they are offering their existing employees value through:

  • salary increases
  • internal promotions
  • offering professional development
  • paid chartership

Opportunities for mid-tier job seekers

Although large organisations in the sector can provide great pathways for their staff, there are also opportunities for mid tier candidates to jump up the career ladder and step into senior roles. 

Due to the sheer enormity of work available, mid tier candidates now have more exposure to major projects than in the past. We’ve witnessed a trend of governments awarding smaller infrastructure contractors lead roles on megaprojects. For example, because of the large size of the Sydney Metro project, many mid tier consultancies have been approached to deliver the work - therefore gaining more experience.

Due to the increased usage of online tools like Zoom and other systems to support working-from-home during lockdown, there are also more opportunities for mid tier jobseekers to gain projects interstate - without having to leave their front door. Rather than relocating, candidates interested in working for interstate organisations often have the option to work remotely.  Job roles, such as designers, have the freedom to fulfill their duties from home.

 

Conclusion

The rail industry is in a period of significant growth due the government's efforts to boost both jobs and productivity.  However, challenges such as the inadequate supply of skilled qualified labour have impeded the delivery of major rail projects. 

Favourably, this presents opportunities for job seekers with a host of roles on the market, along with key benefits such as value-added compensation for experienced candidates.  For mid tier job seekers, exposure to major projects and the chance to work remotely for interstate clients are also on the cards, allowing diversification and professional development. 

With multiple large scale projects occurring in Australia, our CGC Recruitment team is uniquely positioned to help you find your dream rail job and to provide you with relevant information about the rail industry. 

 

For more rail infrastructure trends and insights, checkout CGC in Focus 2.0.

 

About CGC Recruitment

There are currently strong opportunities to grow your career in the rail infrastructure sector.  If you think you meet the criteria for roles in this sector, contact us today.

Advice on how to acquire new skills, career planning, and tips on how to find the right recruitment agency are just some of the tools CGC recruitment can assist you on your professional journey.  

CGC Recruitment is a team of highly-motivated, experienced recruitment consultants, offering candidates unique industry insights.  We ensure our candidates are offered a consistently high level of service at every engagement. Contact us today to find out more.

You can search our latest vacancies here, or alternatively, upload your CV and we’ll contact you when we have a suitable vacancy available.