Unanimous WA industry praise for new driver training course


Career pathways and lifting standards seen as benefits of new pilot program

Unanimous WA industry praise for new driver training course
The parties involved in the Heavy Haulage Driving Operations Skill Set launch

 

Truck driver training is one of the flagship new programs accompanying the first stage of major upgrades to Western Australia’s South Regional Tafe's Collie campus.

Announced today, the opening of the new facilities coincided with the launch of the new Heavy Haulage Driving Operations Skill Set pilot program that will deliver skills to truck drivers with an aim of increasing productivity and industry safety.

Endorsed by the Western Roads Federation (WRF), it was "developed following considerable industry consultation and will fill key skills gaps for this essential service". 

The five-week course has been developed to support workers and businesses and gives drivers the end-to-end skills needed in their workplace and help jobseekers increase their employability.

The course will also give participants eight units of competency from the Certificate III in Driving Operations and a leg up to complete the full qualification.

South Regional TAFE is working in partnership with Keens Truck Driver Training to deliver the new program.

The WRF will work with its industry partners to ensure course participants have at least one interview with an industry employer within a month of completing the program.

The pilot will commence in July using the newly upgraded facilities and will move to a dedicated training space to be constructed as part of Collie's stage two upgrade.


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"The importance of the transport industry has never been more evident than during the COVID-19 pandemic," WA education and training minister Sue Ellery says.

"Truck drivers have kept Western Australia moving and we are proud to invest in this new training program and facilities that will upskill this essential workforce.

"The McGowan government continues to invest in skills relevant to WA's economy which will also aid our state's Covid-19 recovery."

Transport minister Rita Saffioti credits the WRF approaching the state government to create a dedicated training course for drivers.

"I am really pleased the Heavy Haulage Driving Operations Skill Set will commence next month.

"We have worked collaboratively with industry and the training sector to ensure this program will give drivers the skills they need while also helping jobseekers increase their employability.

"There is a looming shortage of truck drivers in WA and the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated how vital the freight industry is to our State."

The Western Australian branch of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) also welcomes the announcement.

"We’ve been asking for this for years," TWU WA state secretary Tim Dawson says.

"It is great to see the state Labor government get behind the future of transport and our great industry.

"When the average age of a truck driver is between 45 and 65, more work is needed to attract and retain young people to the transport industry to ensure the industry is sustainable, and this is a great step in the right direction."

"This avenue will ensure proper education and safe, professionally trained drivers on our roads.

"It is great to see the WA state government recognise the essential work of truck drivers and ensure the long-term future of the industry by offering it as a sustainable and feasible pathway for young people."

 

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