VTA training program gets $1m boost

By: Anjali Behl

Anderson says government grant will allow more positions to train 'job-ready' transport workers

VTA training program gets $1m boost
(L-R) VTA CEO Peter Anderson, Victorian roads and ports minister Luke Donnellan, VTA president Cameron Dunn.


The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) will be able to offer additional training and education positions thanks for a state government grant of $1 million.

The move will allow VTA to add up to 207 new places to both existing and new courses, including transition to transport, driver licensing program and transport cadetship.

The announcement was made during VTA’s annual Ministerial Breakfast event in Melbourne today.

Victorian roads, ports and road safety minister Luke Donnellan says the grant aims to support workers transition to a career in the transport industry.

"It’s a program that will introduce new people to the transport industry, train and educate them to be job-ready, place them in suitable roles and mentor them through the transition," Donnellan says.

The new courses will encourage and train former automotive industry workers into joining the road freight transport sector.

"The Victorian government welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Victorian Transport Association in expanding its training program and, importantly, targeting former automotive industry workers looking for second careers," the minister says.

Welcoming the news, VTA CEO Peter Anderson says the training programs will not only deliver workers that are "job-ready", licenced and formally trained to take on transport sector roles, it will also save prospective employers "thousands of dollars" in training new staff.

"It is a tremendous vote of confidence in the transport industry that the Victorian Government sees the potential employment growth that this training program will create, and we sincerely appreciate its generous contribution," Anderson says.

"The major benefit of the VTA training program is that it produces job-ready candidates and then matches them with real employers, providing real jobs, paying real money.

The program will be delivered across three streams including short- and long-form courses and workshops:

  • Transition to Transport – an eight-module course designed for those who are new to the industry and require more in-depth knowledge of supply chain, T&L operations and associated regulations. VTA will take on a mentoring role for successful candidates in the first three months of their employment.

  • Driver Delivery – an intensive nine-day industry-ready driver licensing course that will be delivered in either heavy rigid synchromesh or heavy combination standards. Candidates will receive advanced skills training covering occupation health and safety rules, cabin drill, load restraint, loading docks, reversing, chain of responsibility, fatigue, and standard transport runs over 60 hours of hands-on training and instructions.

  • Transport Cadetship – 10-month cadetship that will provide Certificate IV in T&L and match successful candidates with prospective employers. The government grant is expected to add places for young drivers interested in this program.

He says training and skills development are vital parts of staff attraction and retention in an industry that sees frequent changes in regulatory, licensing and operational requirements.

"Keeping pace with change can make or break a transport business," Anderson says.

"The VTA recognised this long ago and included skills training as a critical service offering, with hundreds of transport workers since participating in accredited VTA programs, whose benefits flow to employers and customers alike."

Anderson says the training program helps bring more people in the workforces, particularly in the truck driving domain where the numbers are getting lower owing to an ageing workforce and less recruitment.

"What we are trying to do with this course is to raise the bar, to bring people into this industry who are better trained, have better knowledge and understanding, and have better place in this industry to make a career not just a job."

Anderson says VTA also wants to influence change in the current system that does not mandate a minimum number of training or driving time before getting a truck driver licence.

"We don’t want drivers to do a one-day course five-hour course to get a licence. We want them job-ready from the day they step out of the truck," he says.

"We want to set a standard in the industry of which we expect the industry will then follow."

The grant will allow VTA to offer "attractive subsidies" for the courses that will help reduce participation costs faced by both interested candidates and employers.

"A major incentive of this program, compared to others in the private sector, are the significant financial savings available for employers that are wanting to hire and train new staff," he says.

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