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The recent Commonwealth Government Senate Inquiry into the road transport industry has released its final Report entitled ‘Without Trucks Australia Stops: the development of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry’.

The Report covers a wide range of recommendations, but there is a specific item which relates to the work of TEACHO — the Inquiry’s specific observations on TEACHO and BlueCard under the heading of Education and Training.

Excerpt from the Report

Education, licensing and training

8.36 The committee sees significant benefit in the expansion of the Transport Education Audit Compliance Health Organisation’s BlueCard system as a means to introduce a standardised and universal safety induction unit for the road transport sector. The BlueCard system is currently not compulsory meaning some road transport workers receive no induction training upon their commencement in the industry, or are subject to multiple variants of training modules that are meaningless. The application of a BlueCard system that is standardised, universal and compulsory will improve accessibility, reduce training costs across the sector and lift the quality of training. This measure must also be supported by a skills passport that enables road transport workers to record safety induction and training credentials.

Recommendation 4

8.48 The committee acknowledges the various challenges facing the road transport industry arising from a failure to provide universal licensing and training credentials and to support pathways for young and underrepresented road transport workers. The committee recommends that the government works with state and territory governments (in consultation with relevant registered organisations of employers and workers) to:

  • introduce a standardised, universal and compulsory safety induction unit for the road transport sector
  • introduce an industry skills passport for recording these and all other induction and training credentials
  • expedite the Infrastructure and Transport Ministers’ Meeting consideration of the Austroads review of the Heavy Vehicle Driver Competency Framework and licensing arrangements and implements the results as a priority
  • develop a national apprenticeship scheme for the road transport industry
  • work with Safe Work Australia and in consultation with industry representatives, to develop safe strategies for enabling 16- to 18-year olds to train on forklifts; and
  • implement incentive program for businesses that attract young trainees, women and people from disadvantaged backgrounds into the industry.

‘TEACHO has been committed to the extension and development of BlueCard as an industry skills passport over the last decade, and the present endorsement of the Senate Committee is a most welcome addition to the call for greater recognition of safety, skills and standards in the road transport sector’ — Professor Daryll Hull, Chair, TEACHO Limited.