Industry-education partnership to beat skills shortages

By: Jason Whittaker


The Queensland Government is pushing industry-education partnerships to alleviate skills shortages in the transport and logistics industry. Along with JJ Richards

The Queensland Government is pushing industry-education partnerships to alleviate skills shortages in the transport and logistics industry.

Along with JJ Richards & Sons and Woodridge State High School, the Government has launched its pilot Adopt-A-School initiative which aims to provide students with a path into the industry while ensuring companies involved can continue to grow their business with qualified staff in a time of labour demand.

The program works by having those students involved working a full day at JJ Richards engineering depot while completing a Certificate III in Transport and Distribution (Warehousing) and a Certificate III in Transport and Distribution (Road Transport).

While equipping the students with key skills, the program also attempts to show them there is more to the transport and logistics industry than driving a truck. Those interested can stay on to do a trade with the company or choose to focus on another area of the business.

The Government says the program will go a long way to filling demand roles because a steady stream of students will take part in the program after the current batch finishes. Currently 12 students are involved, but more will come through as Adopt-A-School grows.

JJ Richards & Sons General Manager of Engineering Josh Richards is banking on the program being a success as the company has been hit hard in recent years by skills shortages from the twin effects of rapid business growth and too few skilled workers to fill in demand roles.

"As the company grew fairly dramatically over the last 10 to 15 years, we started running out of people," Richards says.

In one instance, it took the waste management company five years to find a workshop manager for its Melbourne depot.

All parties involved have expressed strong support for the program, which is led to the Government pushing for Adopt-A-School to be implemented state wide.

"The pilot roll-out program between JJ Richards, Woodridge State High School and Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE is the first of its kind in Queensland," Senior Project Manager of Queensland Transport Louise Perram-Fisk says.

"We believe it will bring great results for our industry and we are looking forward to the continued roll-out across Queensland."

To read the full story on the Adopt-A-School program and how the industry stands to benefit from it, see the June edition of ATN. Click here to secure your copy.

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