This week the Prime Minister announced the approval of a Certificate III in Driving Operations as the cornerstone for the development of a national truck driving apprenticeship following calls from the transport and logistics sector and extensive work from the Transport & Logistics Skills Council and Reference Committee, which is made up of industry and training professionals including ACAPMAs Mark McKenzie.

In making the announcement the Prime Minister noted the critical nature of truck drivers in keeping Australia moving and acknowledged that the number of truck drivers has gone down and this apprenticeship is part of not only addressing that trend but also securing career paths for transport professionals, which is what drivers are.  “A new national trucking apprenticeship is a critical step to address a potential shortfall in the trucking workforce while meeting supply chain challenges” outlined the PM.

The PM also took the opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of the transport industry throughout the pandemic and the hurdles of border crossings, surveillance testing regimes and so much paperwork putting it simply; “Thank you for keeping Australia moving.  Thank you for keeping Australia supplied.”

Road Safety Assistant Minister Scott Buchholz noted at this apprenticeship offers clear career pathways for school leavers and those interested in stable, essential work, “Truck driving is about more than just changing gears and unloading, by providing a national driver training framework, our future truck drivers will have an advanced competency across the profession, such as load constraints, transporting dangerous goods and pre-departure inspection.  This is a new approach to ensuring our transport industry has the workforce of the future and provides young Australians with the opportunity to have a career, not just a job – in a rewarding industry.  And when it comes to like for like wages a B-Double configuration driving out of this yard, line haul in north Queensland a driver can earn between $100,000 and $120,000 a year.  So if you are enthused by remuneration, transport is something you should have a look at”.

“This apprenticeship did not come about by accident.  For no less than 3 decades we have been trying to secure this and I want to thank all those peak bodies and industry groups that have made submissions” continued Minister Buchholz.

ACAPMAs Mark McKenzie has been closely involved in the approval of the qualification and the apprenticeship framework and noted; “ACAPMA has served on transport industry skills councils and reference groups for over 12 years, all working towards recognising the professional nature of transport drivers, and particularly those in the dangerous goods transport segment, while also seeking to address driver supply shortages and an aging driver fleet”.

“While aging drivers is a characteristic of the transport fleet generally, the dangerous goods segment has been struggling with this reality for well over a decade, with the DG drivers tending to be older than general freight drivers overall.  This new framework, including the qualification and apprenticeship is hoped to address this concern and highlight the long, stable and rewarding career that drivers can access” continued Mark.

The States will now adopt the Framework into their own schemes and will be able to access Federal Government funding once adopted.

More Information

Prime Minsters Press Release –

Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)