The ATA and its members support the truck driver apprenticeship proposal put forward by Australian Industry Standards.
The ATA submission argues that the proposal would increase job seekers’ interest in truck driving. It would increase the professionalism of the industry and improve safety.
The apprenticeship should be targeted at current school students (through school based training) and recent school leavers. It could also be made relevant to mid career entrants by including business skills electives.
The apprenticeship should be amended to include a forklift licence as a core unit. It should be subject to regular reviews as technology changes; the qualification should be renamed as a Certificate III in commercial heavy vehicle operations. Many of the school leavers starting their driver apprenticeships in the coming years will spend most of their careers managing self-driving vehicles, not driving them.
To support the proposed model—
- state training agencies should address employer churn by uniformly adopting the South Australian approach of requiring new employers of existing apprentices to pay a transfer fee to their former employer
- prospective supervisors of apprentice drivers should be able to access free training in TAESS00017 – Workplace supervisor skill set, given that a third of the apprentices who fail to complete their training leave because of problems with their employment experience.
As an important next step, AIS should develop a project timeline that would see the apprenticeship established within 18 months.