'Reimagining the workforce: building smart, sustainable, safe public transport' was a collaborative research project between the Department of Transport, the Rail Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, Victoria University and industry.

The project began on 1 July 2019 and was completed in April 2020.

The research provides a starting point for addressing the knowledge-gaps in the transport-industry workforce, with a specific focus on above-track rolling stock.

Its purpose was to understand the practical steps needed to address critical skills shortages currently facing the sector, and build a sustainable and resilient future workforce.

Project methods

The project provides a systemic assessment case study of the Victorian public transport rolling-stock (train, tram and bus) sector, in the broader context of the public transport system, from three angles:

  • economic perspective
  • organisational perspective
  • community perspective.

It used a case-study approach, examining specific organisations across the rolling-stock and public transport system in Victoria.

The ‘end-user–based research methodology’ used was transdisciplinary, combining end-user and academic knowledge.


Action plan

During a workshop informed by the studies' findings, key industry stakeholders developed an industry-led interim action plan. 

The plan identified three priority focus areas, and associated key tasks, for implementation over the short and long term:

  1. Develop a clear image of the public transport sector to appeal to young people.
  2. Optimise local content, and maximise social and economic benefits.
  3. Develop a ten-year strategic plan for training to support workforce development and workforce profiles for Victoria.
welding student in a workshop

Contact us

For enquiries about the project, please contact:

Celeste Young
Research Fellow, Victoria institute of Strategic Economic Studies
Phone: + 61 3 9919 1347
Email: [email protected]

This project was funded by the Rail Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (funded jointly by participating rail organisations and the Australian Federal Government’s Business Cooperative Research Centres Program) and the Victorian Department of Transport.