26 September 2023

Truck training program heading north

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The Department of Training and Workforce Development is expanding its Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations training program to the Kimberley and Pilbara — helping to help train local people for local jobs.

The program is expected to result in more truck drivers, including women and Aboriginal people, hitting the road.

In a statement, the Department said the Australian-first program provided theoretical and practical hands-on truck driver training to job-ready workers for the priority transport industry.

“An additional $3.5 million allocation to the program will support North Regional TAFE to deliver the training to around 350 participants in the Pilbara and Kimberley over a four-year period,” the Department said.

“It will also support the economy, including Government civil construction projects, by providing a trained, local heavy vehicle workforce, and address the need for heavy vehicle driver training in the Kimberley and Pilbara.”

Run in the metropolitan area from April 2021, and expanded to the South-West and Mid-West over the past two years, the Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations program trains new workers and upskills existing ones, addressing skills shortages and supporting the transport and logistics industry.

Minister for Training, Simone McGurk said the program had helped hundreds of people gain employment in the heavy haulage industry — “and I’m confident that success will be replicated when it’s expanded to the Kimberley and Pilbara”.

Her comments were echoed by colleague and Minister for Transport, Rita Saffioti who said it was fantastic to see such a strong uptake in the Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations course since it began two years ago.

“This expansion will provide a much-needed boost to the transport industry in the Kimberley and Pilbara,” Ms Saffioti said.

“Supporting economic growth, industry diversification and greater regional engagement remain our key priorities.”

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