- New pilot program and assistance with driver training to address skill shortages for transport industry
- Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set pilot is an Australian first
- Central Regional TAFE will take a lead role training up to 1,000 workers for the transport industry
After extensive industry consultation, the McGowan Government is committing up to $6.1 million to train more Western Australians in heavy vehicle driving.
The job-ready Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set and driver training will train an estimated 1,000 skilled workers needed by the transport industry to avoid skill shortages.
The McGowan Government will remove barriers to entry in Heavy Rigid (HR), Heavy Combination (HC) or Multi-Combination (MC) heavy vehicle driving through both theoretical and hands-on practical truck driver training.
The Transport portfolio will provide targeted funding for delivery of industry mentoring for program graduates, to be co-ordinated by Western Roads Federation, which will be crucial for smaller transport companies without the capacity to provide on-the-job training.
The Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set will be delivered in Perth's north-eastern suburbs by Central Regional TAFE and is an expansion of the Heavy Haulage Driving Operations Skill Set being delivered in Collie, which will transition to the new program.
The new program has been modified to provide students with more of the practical skills needed by industry, including on-road experience.
To be responsive to industry need, the short course has been developed to have a strong focus on practical skills and will be an Australian first.
Western Roads Federation has been advising the State Government on issues affecting the industry, and has been instrumental in the development of the expanded skill set to address unprecedented skilled shortages.
The aim of the pilot is to increase skilled workers in this essential service but also give existing workers the opportunity to upskill to more complex combination heavy vehicle driving, increasing industry productivity and safety.
The course will run for just over six weeks, with the first intake in the metropolitan area expected to commence in March. Regional locations are also in development.
The formal training component of the course will be free for job seekers and people under 25.
A small contribution will be required for participation in separate practical driving lessons, which will accompany the training.
Course participants will get a credit toward the Certificate III in Driving Operations traineeship and a leg up to complete the full qualification.
For more information, visit https://www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au or contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.
Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:
"Western Australia's vocational education and training system continues to respond to industry by delivering training-driven solutions to workforce needs.
"Training is a major part of our economic recovery from COVID-19, and this new training opportunity will give Western Australian job seekers the opportunity to start a career in this essential industry.
"Our job-ready skill sets have supported many industries throughout the pandemic and will place Western Australia in an ideal position for economic recovery post COVID-19."
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how vital the freight industry and truck drivers are to our State and our economy.
"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.
"Western Roads Federation and the TWU approached the Premier, Minister for Education and Training and myself, asking to create a dedicated training course for truck drivers.
"We responded with our initial training course in Collie, and I'm so pleased we have been able to build on the success of that pilot and roll out a training program in the metropolitan area."
Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700
Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500