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$7.2 million to train an additional 500 truckies in WA

As part of its 2024-25 state budget, the WA Government has announced a $7.2 million boost to its Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations training program, which will provide an additional 500 program places a year until the end of 2027.

The funding is part of a $195 million spend on training, which aims to build the state’s skilled workforce and help more Western Australians get into jobs.

This latest funding for the Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations program is targeted in WA’s South West. It follows a $3.5 million expansion of the program into the Kimberley and Pilbara, which was announced in last year’s state budget.

During her budget speech to Parliament, WA treasurer and transport minister Rita Saffioti explained that the program had already seen 650 people trained and employed as truckies, with almost 40 per cent of them being women.

She said it was, “An incredible achievement considering women make up around five per cent of the industry nationally. And this Budget, we are expanding the Heavy Vehicle Driver Training Program to the regions, as part of our overall investment of $1.1 billion for training in regional WA.”

The WA Government has committed a total of $195 million on education and training in its latest budget, with a focus on making training more affordable and helping more local workers into the “jobs of the future”.

Other elements of the funding package include an $8 million top-up for the Fee Free TAFE program; $5.6 million for the Skilled Migrant Job Connect Program over three years; and $85 million for initiatives to grow WA’s construction industry workforce.

Since being rolled out at the start of 2023, the Fee Free TAFE program has seen over 62,000 enrolments, with the initiative being targeted towards local industries in need of workers.

The record investment in TAFE infrastructure upgrades has also been increased to $250 million under the Rebuilding Our TAFEs program.

“Investing in our training system is fundamental to giving everyone the opportunity to set themselves up for their future,” added Saffioti.

“Having access to free training and job pathways is lifechanging, and we’re proud to continue investing in our highly successful Fee Free TAFE initiative, which has allowed more Western Australians than ever before to train and take advantage of the vast job opportunities available across our economy.”

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