- Program expanded to get more truck drivers on the road
- Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set to commence in the South-West
- Part of a big picture project to identify and train unemployed local people
- Expanded program will support key infrastructure programs including Bunbury Outer Ring Road
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery launched the expansion of the innovative Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set in Bunbury today, following the success of the McGowan Labor Government's pilot program in Perth.
Of the first cohort, 33 people now have jobs in the industry, adding to the pipeline of skilled workers needed for this essential service. Employment numbers are expected to grow as students complete licensing requirements.
Since the program began in April 2021, there have been more than 100 commencements in the metropolitan program.
After four months of delivery in the metropolitan area, the program will now be delivered through South Regional TAFE to address the shortage of truck drivers in the region.
Stakeholder consultation has been essential to the design and expansion of the program to ensure that the key program outcomes, including licencing and employment, are achieved.
Commencing in Term 4, the course coincides with increased workforce demand created by local infrastructure projects including the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.
As key employers, discussions with Bunbury Outer Ring Road contractors are already underway.
The program, an Australian first, is increasing skilled workers in this essential service and giving existing workers the opportunity to upskill to more complex combination heavy vehicle driving, increasing industry productivity and safety.
The 10-week driver trainer program helps participants become job ready to join the transport and logistics industry and was developed in response to industry need.
Local company Keens Truck Driver Training is working with the college to deliver the practical elements of the training.
The program will train up to 1,000 workers for the transport industry to avoid skills shortages. On successful completion, participants obtain a Heavy Rigid; Heavy Combination; or Multi Combination class vehicle licence, and may apply for a forklift (LF) licence.
The course is free for eligible students and the Practical Driving Instruction Training and Assessment and licencing costs are $500 for concession students and up to $1,250 for non-concession students.
The McGowan Government has committed some $6.1 million towards this initiative to get more skilled drivers on our roads providing fee free training for eligible students and subsidised licences.
Visit https://www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au or contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 for more information.
Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:
"We have worked collaboratively with industry to make sure the program provides industry-focused solutions while also helping jobseekers increase their employability.
"Students learn relevant skills in all aspects of truck driving and the unique Driver Mentor Program will help guide new drivers through the early stages of their career."
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how vital truckies are to our State and the economy.
"We have seen great success with the first tranche of this program and are now expanding to regional Western Australia, so we can provide more opportunities for more people.
"I am so proud that these trainees and drivers will gain hands-on experience on some of our major projects including the Bunbury Outer Ring Road."
Comments attributed to Bunbury MLA Don Punch:
"This program is a small part of a bigger strategy to help local people in the South-West get into jobs and South Regional TAFE has been very proactive in considering industry requirements and finding local solutions.
"We hope that these individuals can progress into jobs on the Bunbury Outer Ring Road via sub-contractors."
Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns:
"I am thrilled to see our community will have access to expert training closer to home.
"The McGowan Government is making a significant investment into our region and this program is another initiative that will ensure we have enough skilled workers to fill quality jobs."
Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700
Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500