International access and expertise a point of difference for Swietelsky Rail Australia
Backed by global partners, Swietelsky Rail Australia (SRA) has a key competitive advantage in that they are able to leverage their overseas counterparts’ knowledge and experience within their everyday operations.
The NSW-based rail infrastructure maintenance provider operates up and down the east coast of Australia and across the country, and is a subsidiary of Swietelsky, based in Austria.
In addition to access to their parent company, SRA has an active exchange of talent with over 19 countries, where they share staff, knowledge, and projects within their work in Australia.
Tahnee Sumner, SRA HR Manager, said that the Australian team considers itself extremely lucky to work with people across the globe, presenting the opportunity to be mentored by global talent.
“Being able to learn from overseas partners is a fantastic opportunity for our staff,” Tahnee said. “Our team are able to learn new skills and approaches to day-to-day operations while sharing our own knowledge with our international teams.”
SRA recognises the importance of exchanging knowledge with their international partners and believes it’s a critical aspect to the training and growth of their team.
In January this year, two Manchester-based staff members from SB Rail, Swietelsky UK’s joint venture with Babcock International, flew to Australia as part of the business’ talent exchange program.
Service Engineers Sam Nicholls and Peter Black are highly experienced senior maintenance technicians and operators of resurfacing machines and have a combined 30 years’ experience in the industry spanning the UK and USA.
The two staff members have been actively working alongside the SRA team on the ground, where there has been an active exchange of skills from both sides.
“We’re really excited to have Sam and Pete working with our Australian team,” Tahnee continued.
“They’re bringing a new wealth of knowledge to our team and are fantastic mentors to other staff who are at the beginning of their careers.
“They also have the opportunity to learn the differences of working in the hot, dry conditions of Australia and our approaches to the industry here.”
SRA will also soon be welcoming three senior staff from the Austrian counterparts, to introduce them to the Australian branch and explore more ways the two businesses can collaborate.
Ronald Röck, Norbert Midl and Werner Hölzlsauer bring extensive technical expertise operating and maintaining Plasser machines, specifically ballast cleaners. The trio also bring a combined 70 years of railway experience from across Europe.
The active exchange initiative has recently been added as part of SRA’s specific training and competency framework for staff, offering a unique avenue of training for Australian staff most other businesses in the industry cannot provide.
SRA believes their people are their most valuable asset, and therefore want to foster their skills and knowledge as much as possible.
“We consider ourselves a family at Swietelsky, and it’s one of our core values,” Tahnee said.
“With our active exchange program, we’re continuing to grow and strengthen our family by bringing our various branches together to work as one Swietelsky.”
Image: Mentoring in action – Sam Nicholls and Nathan McGrath