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Western Australian truck driver skills initiative underway

Transport labour shortage underlines action to bolster post-pandemic rebound


Western Australia’s Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set training program has been given its ministerial blessing.

The Western Australian government’s $6.1 million Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set (HVDOSS) has 12 students enrolled now in the pilot course two weeks after it kicked off.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated how vital the freight industry and truck drivers are to our state and our economy,” transport minister Rita Saffioti says in explaining the need for the initiative.

Developed in consultation with the transport industry, the six-week course aims to address driver shortages, by training 500 new workers in Heavy Rigid (HR) licences and upskilling an additional 500 existing drivers from HR licences to Heavy Combination (HC) and/or Multi-Combination (MC) licences.

In what is described as an Australian first, the new course aims to increase skilled workers through both theoretical and practical hands on truck driving at the state-of-the-art Driver Risk Management facility located at Perth Airport.

On successful completion, participants obtain a Heavy Rigid; Heavy Combination; or Multi Combination class vehicle, and may apply for a forklift (LF) licence.

Read the WRF response to go-ahead for the skill set initiative, here

“These skill sets form an essential part of our Covid-19 recovery, providing affordable and accessible training options for Western Australians to upskill or retrain,” state education and training minister Sue Ellery says.

“The skill set aims to train 500 new entrants and upskill 500 existing workers to drive larger vehicles.

“Our training sector has been front and centre of our recovery, training workers in areas of need.

“Central Regional TAFE has partnered with Driver Risk Management to deliver the course and this is an excellent example of TAFE colleges and private training providers working together to address industry skills needs.”

The course is free for eligible students and the Practical Driving Instruction Training and Assessment and licencing costs $500 for concession students and $1,250 for non-concession students.

Western Roads Federation (WRF) has been advising the State Government on issues affecting the industry, and has been instrumental in developing the expanded skill set to address unprecedented workforce demands due to Covid-19.

As the peak industry body, Western Roads Federation will mentor and support students on the path to employment, working to connect students to industry employers.

Central Regional TAFE is now taking expressions of interest for future intakes and planning is underway to expand the training to the Mid-West, Goldfields and Great Southern regions in coming months.

“We have worked collaboratively with industry to create this program to make sure it gives truck drivers the skills they need while also helping jobseekers increase their employability,”  Saffioti says.

“Western Roads Federation and the Transport Workers’ Union approached the premier, minister for education and training and myself, asking to create a dedicated training course for truck drivers.

“I’m so pleased we have been able to roll out a training program that delivers what industry needs.”

More information can be found here.


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