Fee-free heavy vehicle truck driver training and licencing courses are now on offer to the grains, cotton, rice, viticulture and horticultural sectors across New South Wales as part of an industry-led workforce development strategy.
AgSkilled 2.0 is a $15 million training initiative supported by the NSW Government and driven by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and Cotton Australia as well as the horticulture, viticulture and rice growing sectors to manage the agricultural workforce challenges of the future.
AgSkilled 2.0 co-ordinator Claudia Vicary said the innovative workforce development program had been successful in delivering a diverse range of training across the state over the past three years.
“Current, relevant and flexible, AgSkilled 2.0 training is tailored and delivered to suit the specific needs of industry and can be adjusted to suit students with a range of skills and experience,” Ms Vicary said.
“I strongly encourage growers take advantage of the truck driving and licensing course currently on offer to ensure they and their employees have the skills and training they need to be successful in their roles this harvest as pressure increases to find suitably qualified workers.
“Trucks are commonly used on farm to transport both inputs and outputs. From medium-rigid to multi-combination, a licence is essential for anybody operating a truck as part of their role this season.”
GRDC Senior Regional Manager – North, Gillian Meppem said the issue of harvest workforce shortages was front of mind for grain growers this season and any training that helped support the upskilling of existing or new staff would be important.
“GRDC are keenly aware labour shortages are likely to impact harvest this season so any training, like that on offer through AgSkilled 2.0, that may help ease that pressure is timely and relevant,” she said.
“Having people who are skilled and licensed to operate heavy vehicles could make a significant difference on-farm when it comes to getting grain off paddocks and into silos or depots.”
The truck driver training and licencing courses are being run by Required Australian Industry Skills Education (RAISE) Training and will include competency-based assessment and licencing skillsets for heavy rigid (HR), heavy combination (HC) and multi-combination (MC) licences.
The course ensures participants have the skills and knowledge required to drive a heavy vehicle safely, including maintaining systematic and efficient control of all vehicle functions; coupling and uncoupling trailers; monitoring traffic and road conditions; managing vehicle condition; and performance and dealing with hazardous conditions.
Ms Vicary said these courses will be scheduled with participants based on demand.
“Courses will include online theoretical training and be completed with one-to-one delivery of the practical components, there would be a limit of two participants from each company with eligibility restricted to those working on-farm,” she said.
For more information about this training go to https://www.agskilled.org.au/courses/truck-licencing or contact RAISE training’s Michelle Lockett (North & Central West) on 0411 397 067 or Kahla Hilton (Southern NSW) on 0419 166 039.
For more information about other training courses currently being offered by AgSkilled 2.0 go to www.agskilled.org.au.