New program to attract, recruit and retain heavy vehicle truck drivers in Tasmania

Michael Ferguson,Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is supporting the transport and logistics industry in Tasmania which has experienced issues in attracting, recruiting, and retaining new heavy vehicle drivers, particularly younger and female drivers.

In the Tasmanian Transport and Logistics Industry Workforce Plan 2020-2030, the Tasmanian Transport Association (TTA) highlights that there is often a gap between getting a heavy vehicle licence and being job-ready. The TTA identified that those who are newly licensed to operate heavy vehicles may need further industry specific skills and knowledge, including an understanding of the industry and the employment opportunities it can provide.

In response to this, the TTA has developed the Heavy Vehicle Driver Licensing Plus (HVDL Plus) pilot program to address this gap. We are backing this pilot program through an $80,000 grant to the TTA. The grant supports the delivery the HVDL Plus pilot program over 2021‑2022. I was delighted to meet some of participants of the pilot today and I commend transport industry company De Bruyn Transport for their leadership in this space.

The core focus of the HVDL Plus pilot program is to upskill heavy vehicle licence holders to be professionally job-ready and gain employment with the Tasmanian transport and logistics industry.

The HVDL Plus pilot program is an industry-led program to take people beyond the heavy vehicle driver licence. The HVDL Plus program includes the following course components:

  • Heavy vehicle driver licence;
  • High risk work licence (Forklift);
  • Safe manual handling;
  • Fatigue management obligations and how to complete the national driver work diary;
  • Chain of responsibility awareness;
  • Load safety and load restraint;
  • Transport industry laws, regulations and compliance, including mass, dimensions, loading, vehicle GVM;
  • Demonstrated work aptitude;
  • Customer service skills; and
  • Company and customer site inductions.

All applicants will go through a selection process run by the TTA. After completing the course, job-ready graduates will be connected with transport industry employers looking for heavy vehicle drivers.

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