TRAINING: Jobseekers have been left frustrated after being told to reapply for work on the Rattler they thought they had already secured.
TRAINING: Jobseekers have been left frustrated after being told to reapply for work on the Rattler they thought they had already secured. Renee Albrecht

Trained Rattler workers forced to reapply for jobs

ABOUT 60 job seekers have been left in the lurch after discovering they may not have jobs on the Mary Valley Rattler revitalisation they were training for.

Two of the trainees, one man and one woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said people were frustrated and angry to find none of the companies involved in the training were the ones who were awarded the track work tender by Gympie Regional Council last week.

Having undertaken four days of unpaid training related to rail work, including sleeper replacement, they were informed on Thursday morning they had to apply for the work with another company. The training was conducted over a four week period, including information on wage, hourly workload (60 hours per week over a four month period) and a projected start date.

"I was looking forward to this job," the man said, having been unemployed for about five years.

He was advised he had a "50-50" chance of securing work with tender winners CR Rail.

The woman said she was "disheartened" by the situation, having given notice on the work she did have due to the significant increase in hours for the rail line restoration.

"I had a constant job but it only carried 20 hours a week which wasn't enough. Hence why I took this new contract," she said.

She finished that job two weeks ago, and is now unemployed with no guarantee her new application will be successful.

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The man said he had been contacted about the upcoming work on the rail line in early June, and after an interview he had received a text from his job service provider congratulating him on being "successful in gaining the position with Rail Futures" on June 15 - three weeks before submissions for the rail restoration tender closed on July 4.

Delayed from being voted on at Gympie Regional Council's ordinary meeting on July 19 by technical problems, the tender was awarded to CR Rail and Aurizon at a special meeting on July 28.

Those training were reportedly told the start date would be July 24 before being pushed back to August 1.

They were then advised it would start any time between July 31 and August 31.

According to the woman, they were told they had the work "100%" as "they didn't want to train people unnecessarily".

A spokesman for Rail Futures said Accell Pty Ltd was contracted by Rail Futures Pty Ltd in association with a job service provider to train job seekers located in Gympie.

"Successful learners have been issued Statements of Attainment for the enabling units of competency completed," he said.

"Logbooks to record practical experience prior to assessment and further training in various rail applications and tools have also been issued to each learner.

"Accell wishes all participants all the best in securing a position in the rail sector."

However, the male trainee said he has not received a certificate in the weeks since the training, while the woman said her group did not complete the practical side of the training and had never earned a certificate.

A council spokeswoman said the council was unaware any training had been undertaken for work on the Rattler, and none of the tenderers had been given any indication they would receive the contract.

"Council has a firm policy regarding the tender process: council will, within the context of a competitive market place, act fairly and ethically to ensure that there is accountability in its relationships with both potential and established suppliers and that sound governance and probity principles are applied to all procurement processes undertaken," she said.

"The process was overseen by a probity auditor."

Gympie Times


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