Friday, May 7, 2010

Australian Trucking Association Calls For Support On Trailer Apprenticeships

Wants Industry's Help to Get Dedicated Training
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has thrown its support behind a proposal to establish a national trailer and chassis maintenance apprenticeship, saying the plan will bring a new level of professionalism to the job and enhance the safety of the industry.

Through its Industry Technical Council (ITC), the ATA has written to the body in charge of automotive apprenticeships in Victoria, the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC), indicating the need for the program.

ITC member Val Gomez from the Silk Logistics Group has spent more than 15 years working to get a program set up in Victoria to train trailer mechanics and said there was now a need for it to be recognised formally as an apprenticeship.

“Twenty years ago we had rusty old trailers, but these days trailer technology is advancing very quickly,” Gomez said.

“Modern trailers usually have a raft of advanced components such as ABS, EBS, advanced suspensions and disc brakes.

“The industry is calling out for a formal qualification for trailer and chassis mechanics that can supply the industry with staff fully trained in the new technology.

“At the moment, it’s hard to find people to work on trailers. By giving them an apprenticeship we set them up with a career path, and it will assist the industry in finding qualified people to ensure our trailers are in top condition.

“Right now we need fleet managers who would like to see this to become a nationally recognised apprenticeship to write to the VACC and show their support. This program will only become accredited if we can show the industry is behind it.”

ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair urged all fleet managers to assist the program and add their voices to calls for the apprenticeship.

“In many workshops trailer repairs are commonly done by skilled but unqualified people,” St Clair said. “The industry will benefit by having qualified trailer mechanics supplementing the more specialised engine and transmission staff in the workshop. Val has already proven the benefit of this in his own workshops.

“By writing to the VACC to show their support for the program, trucking operators and fleet managers can ensure that in the future there will be a pool of workers who are fully qualified to work on the increasingly complex trailer systems on the road.”

For more information on the plan, or to find out how to show your support for the program, contact the ATA’s National Manager Policy, David Coonan at