Licensing initiative to combat skills shortage: Shaw

Hawkins Transport CEO says Queensland Government initiative that subsidises the cost of obtaining truck licence will address skill shortages

July 9, 2012

A Queensland Government initiative that subsidises the cost of obtaining a heavy vehicle licence will help address skill shortages in the trucking industry, Hawkins CEO Roz Shaw says.

Beginning next week, the $1 million Transition program will train 400 heavy vehicle drivers across Queensland between July 2012 and February 2013.

The program covers 85 percent of the cost of going through an MC licence course and is open to Australian citizens or residents with a heavy rigid (HR) unrestricted licence living in Queensland. The scheme also provides courses for other bus and truck driving licences.

"Training is being delivered across Queensland in metropolitan and regional locations and has been identified by industry demand. Places for new entrants are fully funded while existing worker licence upgrades will attract a 15 percent co-contribution," Shaw says.

"The $1 million Transition program addresses critical skills gaps in the transport, logistics and supply chain industry.

"The program will provide the skills and training needed for people to enter the industry – a great opportunity for unemployed, underemployed people or those wishing to enter the industry. Additionally, existing workers can upgrade their current licence and skills."

Transition is run by the Department of Transport and Main Roads with leadership from the Transport and Logistics Workforce Advisory Group, which includes representatives from the Queensland Trucking Association (QTA).

The first training course will be held at Innisfail on July 16, followed by courses at Toowoomba, Rockhampton and Ipswich on July 30.

Transition will then move to Townsville and Yatala on August 27, before conducting training at Morayfield on October 22.

Three more courses will be run early next year, with Bundaberg first off on January 21. Yatala and Morayfield will each host another course on February 18.

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