- More than 230 Western Australians employed following completion of the McGowan Government's Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set
- Strong uptake from women, increasing their representation in the traditionally male-dominated field of truck driving
- $6.1 million program aims to train 1,000 job-ready workers to combat skills shortages
The McGowan Government's $6.1 million Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set has hit a key milestone, with more than 230 Western Australians now employed following the completion of the program.
Developed in collaboration with industry and in response to the truck driver shortage emphasised during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian-first program provides theoretical and practical hands-on truck driver training at the state-of-the-art Driver Risk Management facility located near Perth Airport.
Since the program began in April last year, 232 graduates of the program have gained employment following their completion, with more set to secure employment in the transport and logistics industry this month as they receive their licences.
Significantly, around 30 per cent of participants in the course have been women, when compared to female representation among truck drivers in WA being of less than four per cent.
The six-week metropolitan course is available through Central Regional and South Regional TAFEs - in collaboration with industry - and is free for eligible participants.
Due to the critical program's success, the course has been expanded to regional areas with a 10-week program now running in the South-West.
Free for eligible students, 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 program aims to train 500 new workers in Heavy Rigid (HR) licences and upskill 500 existing workers from HR licences to Heavy Combination and/or Multi-Combination licences, to combat skills shortages and support the transport and logistics industry.
For more information, visit https://www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/courses/heavy-vehicle-driving-operations-skill-set or contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.
Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:
"The Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set is a fantastic example of how the McGowan Government is working with industries with skills shortages to train the job-ready workers they need to continue delivering for our State.
"Its success in producing more than 230 workers for the transport and logistics, civil construction, and mining industries since it was launched last year further highlights our Government's commitment to supporting industries to meet critical workforce needs.
"This program provides participants with real hands-on experience and practical hours in heavy haulage to help them become job-ready, and get more skilled drivers on our roads.
"It's also great to see such a high number of women taking part and those delivering the course supporting more women into an occupation that has traditionally had very low numbers of them."
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"Western Roads Federation and the Transport Workers' Union approached the Premier, the Minister for Education and Training, and myself in 2020 asking us to create a dedicated training course for truck drivers, and it's fantastic to see that this program is exceeding expectations.
"It is an excellent example of collaboration with industry to help match jobseekers looking to boost their employability with an industry in need of skilled workers.
"Participants are mentored and supported on the path to employment, connecting them to industry employers that are looking for workers before they've even completed their training."
Comments attributed to Western Roads Federation CEO Cam Dumesny:
"This program has provided a much-needed boost to the transport industry and we're incredibly grateful for the WA Government's support of our essential industry - because the only thing we don't deliver are babies.
"We're seeing a strong interest from women wanting to join the industry and the trend is very welcome news, as so many employers are keen to employ more female drivers because of the different skills and positive attributes they bring."
Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700
Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500