THERE'S a mixed bag of results for our poll on who's to blame for the drivers' skills gap.
Most people who voted in the poll think the training provider is to blame, followed by calls for an apprenticeship scheme and one that would have companies training inexperienced drivers.
We already have had hundreds tell us they have found it hard to get a job once licenced and it's not going to be a simple fix.
One driver told us that they were stuck doing rigid work, even though they had upgraded their licence, desperate to get into a bigger truck. They've been told the standard three to four years of experience is needed.
Unpaid work experience wouldn't work for them, because like many, there's still bills to pay.
But if a company took them on and trained them or sponsored them to train, either on the job or with the likes of the Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls, that would result in a win-win situation.
Some training providers do an exceptional job, but we're hearing stories of plenty that are cheap and nasty and not training people right.
Those are the ones that sign people off without getting them to reverse, or learn other basic skills.
How do we stop this? It's up to the government to investigate them, or mandate more checks for RTOs.
Or we simply bypass all that and invest in training ourselves.
It wouldn't cost large transport companies much to take on a couple of untrained drivers a year.
Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls does it regularly out of its own pocket. It takes the company only 160 hours to get drivers up to an employable standard. All of the drivers it has trained have full-time employment.
If the likes of Toll and Linfox took on two drivers each and had to invest in 160 hours of training, the bottom line impacts would be hourly wages for the new recruits, and some costs for trainers.
The trucks would continue to work, the teachers could be existing drivers and the new recruits would get real-world training.
After 160 hours training they would be ready to work on their own and be taught to company standards.
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