Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery launched the expansion of the innovative Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set in Bunbury today. 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.
Since the pilot program began in April 2021, there have been more than 100 commencements in the metropolitan program. 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.
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 2021, the course coincides with increased workforce demand created by local infrastructure projects including the southern section of 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 Bunbury 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 (HR); Heavy Combination (HC); or Multi Combination (MC) class vehicle licence, and may apply for a forklift (LF) licence.
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said "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.”
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.
Visit www.southregionaltafe.wa.edu.au/courses and complete the expression of interest form on the course page. You can also contact the South Regional TAFE team on 1800 621 445 or email email@example.com.
Alternatively, visit www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/skillsready or contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 for more information.