Free heavy truck driver training and licensing courses are offered to agricultural workers in New South Wales.
For those working in the plant-growing agricultural industry sectors, including the grain, fiber, rice, viticulture, horticulture and agri-future industries, AgSkilled offers the ability to track additional training through a program funded by the NSW Government.
The $15 million program was launched to upskill NSW’s plant-producing agricultural workforce to ensure the industry is well-equipped to meet future challenges.
AgSkilled is supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and other industry partners such as Cotton Australia, Horticulture Innovation, NSW Wine Association and Agrifutures.
AgSkilled co-ordinator Claudia Vicary said the program has been an imperative part of building the workforce in NSW agricultural industries since its inception and has generated opportunities to hone skills. workers and those seeking a career in the industry.
The truck driving and licensing course has been particularly popular with people on the farm, who are actively preparing for the winter grain harvest and ensuring that their staff have the necessary skills and expertise. to drive heavy trucks safely during this time.
“Having staff who can properly drive a heavy truck is an integral part of most agricultural businesses, especially as farmers have felt the pinch of labor shortages in recent years,” Vicary said.
“AgSkilled aims to provide training that makes things easier on the farm and we want to help growers make their businesses more dynamic and efficient by investing in their people,” she said.
GRDC – North Senior Regional Manager Gillian Meppem said productivity was high across NSW and seasonal conditions had growers excited about winter and summer harvest prospects. .
“In seasons when high productivity is expected, it follows that there will be increased pressure on harvesting logistics, it is important to ensure that the agricultural workforce can safely drive a truck. confidently and safely during peak times such as harvesting and planting,” she said.
“I strongly encourage all growers to review their operations and personnel and assess how they could take advantage of this great opportunity to develop their workforce and increase their productivity.”
Truck driver training and licensing courses are delivered through Required Australian Industry Skills Education (RAISE) training and Ironbark training and will include heavy vehicle competency-based assessment and licensing skills rigid (HR), heavy combinations (HC) and multiple combinations (MC).
The course ensures that participants have the skills and knowledge necessary to operate a heavy vehicle safely, including maintaining systematic and effective control of all vehicle functions; hitching and unhitching trailers; monitor traffic and road conditions; manage vehicle status; and performance and management of hazardous conditions.
Vicary said these classes will be scheduled with attendees based on demand.
“The courses will include theoretical online training and will be supplemented by individual delivery of the practical components, there would be a limit of two participants from each company per fiscal year with eligibility limited to those working on the farm,” he said. she declared.