Western Australia celebrated the official launch this week of its first state government-backed training program designed to plug a serious industry skills shortage in the state.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti was joined by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery, and nearly 100 other industry luminaries, to meet the first cohort of 12 students at the Driver Risk Management training facility in Perth.
They are the first of a budgeted 1000 to be trained and made job-ready for the WA transport and logistics industry.
Organising body, the Western Roads Federation (WRF), says this pilot program is an Australian-first, with students gaining the practical skills and experience needed before being connected with employers.
“A big thank you to the WA Government and members of the Western Roads Federation for support to make this program happen to address the skills shortage in our industry,” said Cam Dumesny, WRF CEO.
“We also recognise the collaboration and contribution of David Fyfe, President of Livestock and Rural Transporters WA and Tim Dawson, State Secretary of the Transport Workers Union, in providing industry insight.”
WRF first expressed concerns on the skills shortage in the industry and the impacts to the WA economy last year.
“Our concerns are now amplified as the WA mining industry and agriculture businesses are losing business due to these constraints, directly affecting the state’s economic performance,” said Neil David, Director of WRF.
David says both CBH and Mineral Resources have reported impacts on global sales due to truck driver shortages. Training of local workers is critical to strengthen the local economy, he said.
Dumesny added that WRF piloted a similar smaller scale joint industry and training model for long-term unemployed youth, that has led to over 80 per cent now being employed in warehousing and logistics jobs for more than six months.
He said WRF aims to have similar success with the driver training program, with industry remaining actively involved in the training, including industry mentoring and connection to employers.