THE Department of Transport and Main Roads and Skills Queensland have joined forces with the Queensland Trucking Association and the Queensland Bus Industry Council in a $1 million skills package to train 400 heavy vehicle drivers across the Queensland.
Roz Shaw, CEO of Hawkins Transport and Vice President of the Queensland Trucking Association said the money would bring critically needed skills to the industry.
"The $1 million Transition program addresses critical skills gaps in the transport, logistics and supply chain industry," Ms Shaw said.
"Transition is a state-wide heavy vehicle driver training and licensing program for 400 new entrants and existing workers.
"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."
This program will train participants in a nationally accredited and industry endorsed skills set and the courses are offered across three areas: bus driving licences, truck driving licences and multi-combination licence upgrades.
"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% co-contribution," Ms Shaw said.
Ms Shaw said Queensland's transport, logistics and supply chain contributed 18.6% to Gross State Product (which currently equates to $15.8 billion) The Contribution of Transport and Logistics to the Economy - Dispelling the Myths, Australian Logistics Council, 2007.
"The transport, logistics and supply chain industry is critical to the growth of Queensland industries."
Australia's freight task in 2020 is estimated to be double that of 2006.
"Programs like this will help build Queensland's future by providing a skilled workforce that meets the current and future needs of industry and the community," Ms Shaw said.
"Now is the time for eager starters to get the skills they need to join an in-demand industry and for existing truck drivers to develop an edge within their sector by upgrading their licence."
The program responds to requests from peak industry bodies (the Queensland Trucking Association and the Queensland Bus Industry Council) for government to assist in the development of more skilled workers for the transport, logistics and supply chain industry.
David Tape, CEO of the Queensland Bus Industry Council said Transition was a great example of partnership between government and industry.
"This industry program is delivered by Transport and Main Roads with leadership from the Transport and Logistics Workforce Advisory Group Queensland (TLWAG-Q) made up of representatives from industry, government and Skills Queensland," Mr Tape said.
"The Transition program is a great outcome of the TLWAG-Q partnership which aims to develop sustainable solutions for skills shortages in the industry. It is also strengthened by partnership funding from Skills Queensland."
More information about how to become involved in the program is available on the TMR website.