The first twelve students have begun Western Australia’s $6.1 million Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set course.
This is the first course in Australia aimed at building a pipeline of skilled drivers to fill shortages in the transport sector.
Rita Saffioti, Transport Minister said, “Western Roads Federation and the Transport Workers’ Union approached the Premier, Minister for Education and Training and myself, asking to create a dedicated training course for truck drivers.
“We have worked collaboratively with industry to create this program to make sure it gives truck drivers the skills they need while also helping jobseekers increase their employability.”
The six-week course will train up to 1,000 workers for the transport industry. 500 of these students will be new workers earning their Heavy Rigid (HR) license while the remaining 500 will be upskilled workers who will progress from their HR licenses to either a Heavy Combination (HC) and/or Multi-Combination (MC) license.
Sue Ellery, Education and Training Minister said, “Central Regional TAFE has partnered with Driver Risk Management to deliver the course and this is an excellent example of TAFE colleges and private training providers working together to address industry skills needs.”
According to a statement released by the WA government, the course offers both theoretical and practical hands-on truck driving at the Driver Risk Management facility at the Perth Airport.
Western Roads Federation, the peak industry body, has been working with the State Government to develop this course to solve changing workforce demands stemming from COVID-19.
“These skill sets form an essential part of our COVID-19 recovery, providing affordable and accessible training options for Western Australians to upskill or retrain,” said Ellery.
The Federation will also help mentor and support students, working to link graduates with industry employers.
The course is free for eligible students with the Practical Driving Instruction Training and Assessment and licencing costs $500 for concession students and $1,250 for non-concession students.
Central Regional TAFE is currently accepting expressions of interests for future students with plans in the works to expand training to the Mid-West, Goldfields and Great Southern Regions of WA.