Call for help with plotting skills pathway for transport industry

If you have ideas on how the industry can attract and retain new faces, then the independent body tasked with identifying and prioritising the transport industry’s workforce development needs wants to hear from you.

Industry Skills Australia (ISA), the recently appointed Jobs and Skills Council for transport and logistics, is calling for expressions of interest for various roles on a number of committees that will oversee the development of a national workforce plan.

“You can be anybody at all, we’re waiting to hear from the right people about their involvement,” said ISA CEO Paul Walsh.

“Whether it’s someone out there driving, someone at an operational level, or a CEO, there’s lots of opportunities. We’ve got strategic committees, but we’ve also got other engagement mechanisms and committees when we get into the technical work.

“If we’re looking at, say chain of responsibility, or the heavy vehicle apprenticeship, we would want to get people with expertise on to those committees.”

Walsh, a former truckie himself, says the difference with this new approach to solving the long-running skills shortage plaguing the industry is that the model is more an “end-to-end” one, rather than just focusing on qualification.

“We’re looking at what is the issue, working with industry to identify potential solutions, and then we’re going all the way through to working with the training end of the market to see what really good practices are occurring and making sure that those are promoted and used, and we’re getting best practice at the delivery end.

“The ultimate test of someone who comes through training is, are they job ready? Are they capable and do they meet the needs of industry, or do they feel like they’ve got something they didn’t want?

“For us, it’s really bringing all those different strands together.”

Former truckie Paul Walsh wants input from all industry sectors.

Formerly known as Australian Industry Standards, which focused more on skills issues through the lens of qualification in vocational education and training, Walsh says the latest iteration has far broader role.

“It’s not just us sitting in a room, trying to think up ideas, it’s actually through a whole range of consultation and industry committees that have determinative powers on where we focus our effort.”

Walsh says the council is aiming to submit its first workforce development plan to Canberra in September to highlight some of the issues and ideas around what those solutions would be.

It hopes to be fully operational by January 2024.

To play your part in helping bolster industry skills, register your interest at before close of business on July 28.

Committee members will meet 2-3 times a year, with the first formal meetings of each committee set for October 2023.

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