Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations skill set hits a big milestone!

The WA State Government’s $6.1 million Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set has hit a key milestone, with 232 people now employed through the program, which started in April 2021, and more gaining employment as they receive their licences. The aim is to train up to 1,000 workers to combat skills shortages in WA's transport industry.

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 driving experience at the state of the art Driver Risk Management facility located at the Perth Airport.

Around 30 per cent of participants have been women, and this has led to the development of a tailored course specifically for a women-only cohort now also available. 

  • The six-week course is currently available in metropolitan areas through Central Regional and South Regional TAFEs, in collaboration with industry.
  • Due to the program’s success, it has now been expanded to regional areas with a 10-week course running in the South West.
Truck drivers in hi vis uniforms standing by trucks

The skill set is fee-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 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.

For more information about the program, visit jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/courses/heavy-vehicle-driving-operations-skill-set

You can also contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 for free information, support and assistance with training options and career planning.

“The McGowan Government continues to invest in affordable and accessible training programs to upskill and train Western Australians." says Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. “Having collaborated with industry to deliver the Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set, and successfully producing more than 230 workers for the transport and logistics, civil construction and mining industries, further highlights the Government’s commitment to delivering training solutions that meet workforce needs. This skill set provides real hands on experience with practical hours in heavy haulage and will help participants become job ready and to get more skilled drivers on our roads.”

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti says "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."

CEO Western Roads Federation Cam Dumesny says that “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 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. Having a women only cohort and the supportive structure of the course means it is also perfect for Women who feel that they may need time to build their confidence.”

Read the full media statement here