The WA government will provide $6.1 million to train more Western Australians in Heavy Rigid (HR), Heavy Combination (HC) or Multi-Combination (MC) heavy vehicle driving through both theoretical and hands-on practical truck driver training.
The job-ready Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set and driver training will train an estimated 1,000 skilled workers needed by the transport industry to avoid skill shortages.
The Transport portfolio will provide targeted funding for delivery of industry mentoring for program graduates, to be co-ordinated by Western Roads Federation, which will be crucial for smaller transport companies without the capacity to provide on-the-job training.
The Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set will be delivered in Perth’s north-eastern suburbs by Central Regional TAFE and is an expansion of the Heavy Haulage Driving Operations Skill Set being delivered in Collie, which will transition to the new program.
The new program has been modified to provide students with more of the practical skills needed by industry, including on-road experience.
To be responsive to industry need, the short course has been developed to have a strong focus on practical skills and will be an Australian first.
Western Roads Federation has been advising the State Government on issues affecting the industry, and has been instrumental in the development of the expanded skill set to address unprecedented skilled shortages.
The aim of the pilot is to increase skilled workers in this essential service but also give existing workers the opportunity to upskill to more complex combination heavy vehicle driving, increasing industry productivity and safety.
The course will run for just over six weeks, with the first intake in the metropolitan area expected to commence in March. Regional locations are also in development.
The formal training component of the course will be free for job seekers and people under 25.
A small contribution will be required for participation in separate practical driving lessons, which will accompany the training.
Course participants will get a credit toward the Certificate III in Driving Operations traineeship and a leg up to complete the full qualification.