VET in Schools – Certificate II in Rail Fundamentals

About the program

With a forecast skills shortage over the next decade, we need young people to consider a career in the Australian rail industry.

The industry needs more rail workers in all roles, including customer service, train drivers, track workers, signalling engineers and construction workers to keep up with the current pace of infrastructure projects, especially in Victoria.

The Certificate II program, aimed at Year 10 to 12 students, commenced in 2020. Since then, a total of 21 students have successfully attained their Certificate II, learning about the wide variety of stimulating roles available to them in heavy and light rail and broadening their technical rail skills and knowledge.

The program is immersive and realistic, with regular hands-on technical sessions conducted at the Rail Academy in Newport, regular industry expert guest speakers and access to incredible excursions at real-life rail sites not available anywhere else. Three classes have commenced in 2024, with students travelling from all over Victoria to attend.

For more information about careers in rail, visit the Rail Academy website.

Certificate II in Heavy and Light Rail Fundamentals (pre-vocational)

Led by the Level Crossing Removal Project, the Victorian rail industry has worked together to develop an introductory rail qualification for high school students, known as Certificate II in Heavy and Light Rail Fundamentals (pre-vocational).

The purpose of this VET course is to provide students with basic knowledge and a realistic preview of the heavy (train) and light (tram) rail industry in Victoria.

Students will be taught in a combination of structured learning, self-directed learning and hands-on training in a simulated work environment.

The 2-year, part-time course will count towards a VCE qualification, and will provide students with a basic knowledge of the rail industry in Victoria.

This will enable students to make a more informed choice about future employment within an area of the industry that best suits their interest, capabilities and career aspirations.


Students must be prepared to attend theory and practical classes, with theory classes taking place at Hallam or Melbourne CBD and practical visits to the Rail Academy in Newport and other sites occurring up to twice a term.

The Rail Academy will advise as new providers for the Certificate II become available.


Fees for VET programs vary from school to school due to a range of factors.

Please contact your school’s VET coordinator to determine what fees you will need to contribute to undertake this program.


Students enrolled in year 10, 11 VCE/VCAL are encouraged to undertake 2 years part-time.

Expression of interest

If you’re interested in the course, let your VET coordinator know. They can submit an expression of interest via email to

The expression of interest must be submitted by the student’s home school VET coordinator (not the student or parent). We will send this on to the Training provider (RTO) and they will work with VET coordinators to discuss the student application and selection process.

Program video

Rail Academy

Further information

This program is run by Training for the Future through the Level Crossing Removal Project – a project office of the Victorian Infrastructure Delivery Authority delivering Victoria's Big Build.