VTA and Mint Group launch training initiative


The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) and training and labour supply firm Mint Group have launched the country’s latest training initiative in Melbourne. <br /><br /> The joint venture, known in full as the VTA Academy: Powered by Mint Group, will follow a path similar to one the Mint Group already undertakes with Crown Casino, whereby staff are trained by and secured to the Academy and supplied to prospective employers.

By Rob McKay | March 8, 2012

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA)
and training and labour supply firm Mint Group have launched the country’s latest training initiative in Melbourne.

The joint venture, known in full as the VTA Academy: Powered by Mint Group, will follow a path similar to one the Mint already undertakes with Crown Casino.

VTA CEO Phil Lovel revealed that the two organisations had spent time since mid-last year in negotiations before they were able to seal the deal and go ahead with the launch.

Underlining the need for greater training in the industry, Lovel says research shows the average reading level for drivers was Grade 6.

VTA Deputy CEO Neil Chambers, who is leading the Academy for the association, points out that operators have failed in the past to take full advantage of government financial support for training.

He refers to government research that shows 48 percent of the existing driver pool will reach official retirement age by 2026.

"You’ve got to ask yourself: are we taking in enough people at the bottom end to cover off that attrition, let alone building for the future and the growth in the freight task.

With 97.5 percent of drivers white males, part of the Academy’s task will be to source and train non-traditional entrants from sources, such as women, migrants and indigenous people.

Mint Group CEO Tony Fritsche explains that his firm has a four divisions: training, labour hire, personnel, and recruitment.

Mint will "supply skilled staff and transition them into the industry" and its "point of difference" is that it will provide training on accredited programs in participating firms’ workplaces, he adds.

State Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall, who attended, says the initiative "is a great example of industry and government both investing in the skill of an important workforce that is critical to the Victorian economy".

"The new academy will provide the transport and logistics industry with high quality and flexible training options for certificate and diploma qualifications and is an outstanding example of what can be achieved when industry plays a lead role in expanding its workforce skills base," Hall says.

"This is not only good for the outlook of the industry, it also promises to help individual businesses reduce their costs, while attracting the best and brightest to an industry that is the backbone of the Victorian and Australian economy.

"A productive, efficient and sustainable freight and logistics industry is vital to our economic well-being and industry competitiveness and the new VTA Academy will be able to supply a skilled labour force that is job ready and a great match for employers."

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