Premier commits $4m for drivers
VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews pledged $4 million in funding to cover training of 800 new heavy vehicle drivers in partnership with the Victorian Transport Association and others, should the Labor Government be re-elected at the November state election.
The premier made the announcement at a VTA reception held at Parliament House where he also outlined how transport infrastructure projects of the scale his government has instituted needed to become "the new norm” for industry participants.
"Heavy vehicle driver training and reforms to licensing are issues the VTA has been advocating strongly on for some time as a further mechanism for attracting new people to the industry and addressing the shortage of skills and drivers that are holding many operators back,” VTA Peter Anderson said.
"In partnership with the Victorian Government, the VTA has provided intensive training for well over 60 new drivers through our Driver Delivery program, which has also been instrumental in putting these drivers in jobs in transport.
"The $4 million the Premier has announced should his government be returned will go a long way towards addressing this shortage, with 800 new highly-skilled and professional drivers over four years a welcome addition to the pool of drivers our industry desperately needs to service the growing freight task.”
In wide-ranging remarks, the Premier discussed how his government over four years had invested in major transport infrastructure projects needed to handle population growth.
He also re-committed to putting the North East Link out to market within 100 days of a re-elected Labor government.
The Premier also discussed his government's investment in TAFE programs to help equip the next generation of workers with skills needed by the state's growing economy, stating that partnering with groups like the VTA was essential to overcome the specific challenges faced by industry sectors.