Green Kenworth heavy road train truck of the Toll company transporting extremely heavy load in three trailers in Western Australia with slight motion blur effect

More than 230 graduates from the Western Australian Government’s flagship $6.1 million Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Skill Set program have now found ongoing employment in the industry.

Developed in collaboration with industry and in response to the truck driver shortage emphasised during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian-first program provides theoretical and practical hands-on truck driver training at the state-of-the-art Driver Risk Management facility located near Perth Airport.

Since the program began in April 2021, 232 graduates of the program have gained employment, with more set to secure employment in the transport and logistics industry in November as they receive their licences.

Significantly, around 30 per cent of participants in the course have been women, when compared to female representation among truck drivers in Western Australia being less than four per cent.

State Education and Training Minister, Sue Ellery, said the program had succeeded in addressing short-term skills shortages within the transport sector.

“The program’s success in producing more than 230 workers for the transport and logistics, civil construction, and mining industries since it was launched last year further highlights our Government’s commitment to supporting industries to meet critical workforce needs,” Ms Ellery said.

“This program provides participants with real hands-on experience and practical hours in heavy haulage to help them become job-ready, and get more skilled drivers on our roads.

“It’s also great to see such a high number of women taking part and those delivering the course supporting more women into an occupation that has traditionally had very low numbers of them.”

The six-week metropolitan course is available through Central Regional and South Regional TAFEs – in collaboration with industry – and is free for eligible participants.

Due to the critical program’s success, the course has been expanded to regional areas with a ten-week program now running in the South-West.

Free for eligible students, the Practical Driving Instruction Training and Assessment and licensing costs are $500 for concession students and up to $1,250 for non-concession students.

The program aims to train 500 new workers in Heavy Rigid (HR) licences and upskill 500 existing workers from HR licences to Heavy Combination and/or Multi-Combination licences, to combat skills shortages and support the transport and logistics industry.

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