Careers & Training, News

WA expands driver training program

Following a successful pilot that’s already seen 33 people join the industry, the WA Government has expanded its driver training initiative into Bunbury.

Over 100 people have joined the Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set program since it began in April 2021, with the 33 new starters part of the first cohort.

Employment numbers are expected to grow as students complete licensing requirements.

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.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how vital truckies are to our state and the economy,” said WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.

“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.”

Stakeholder consultation was imperative to the design and expansion of the program, helping to ensure the key program outcomes, including licencing and employment, are achieved.

“We have worked collaboratively with industry to make sure the program provides industry-focused solutions while also helping jobseekers increase their employability,” said WA Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery.

“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.”

Commencing in Term 4, the 10-week driver trainer program will coincide with the increased workforce demand brought on by local infrastructure projects including the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.

As key employers, discussions with Bunbury Outer Ring Road contractors are underway.

The program seeks to increase the number of skilled drivers in the field and give existing workers the opportunity to upskill to more complex combination heavy vehicle driving.

“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,” added Bunbury MLA Don Punch.

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 1000 workers for the transport industry in a bid to tackle 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 $1250 for non-concession students.

Click here or contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 for more information.

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