12 Dec 2017
TAFE Queensland SkillsTech is proud of the strong industry partnerships it has forged with private and public sector organisations. These partnerships often require innovative workforce development solutions that improve workforce capability and operational productivity. In 2015, the Public Safety Business Agency (PSBS) approached TAFE Queensland for a solution to deliver training and skills recognition to its 13 workshops across Queensland which deliver maintenance services to the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES).
TAFE Queensland SkillsTech developed a workplace solution for the QPS and QFES workshops of the Public Safety Business Agency that successfully increased the trade capability of their automotive mechanics leading to a more productive and efficient workforce.
From 2009 to 2014 the demand for skilled labour to service construction projects in Queensland’s booming resource sector outpaced supply. This unprecedented demand combined with the high wages being offered led to the migration of large numbers of skilled tradespeople to the mining and resources sector. The exodus of tradespeople away from local employers included significant numbers of skilled, heavy and light automotive mechanics.
The ensuing skill shortage made it difficult to recruit appropriately qualified automotive mechanics to service the heavy/ light vehicles and vessel fleet located throughout metropolitan and regional Queensland. In order to maintain the heavy vehicle maintenance planning schedule, light vehicle mechanics were recruited who were then informally trained on the job by their heavy commercial vehicle colleagues.
In 2016, PSBA sought to harmonise the skills, capabilities and qualifications of its automotive mechanical and tradesmen workforce. TAFE Queensland SkillsTech’s workforce solution to PSBA recommended a combination of formal training/ skills recognition and gap training to its light and heavy commercial vehicle mechanics. This would provide PSBA with a skilled workforce with the accredited dual trade capability to work across all vehicle classes.
Under normal circumstances government employees are not eligible to access Queensland government funded training through the Trades Skills Assessment and Gap Training Program (TSAGT). However given the unique skill shortages created by the resource sector boom, VET Investment granted TAFE Queensland SkillsTech special dispensation to vary the TSAGT Agreement and secure government funding to deliver training to PSBA employees in AUR3116 Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology (AUR3116) and Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology (AUR30616).
The student cohort consisted of 29 PSBA automotive/ mechanical employees based in Toowoomba, Cairns, Rockhampton, Caloundra, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
TAFE Queensland SkillsTech’s successful workforce solution has increased the trade capability of PSBA automotive mechanics leading to a more productive and efficient workforce. David Lloyd, Manager, Mechanical Services stated that TAFE Queensland SkillsTech’s training has really boosted the morale of our automotive (PSBA) mechanics across Queensland.
“They’re proud to be qualified to work on both heavy and light vehicles and it’s really pulled everyone together as a team. From an operational point of view, it’s much easier to have everyone with the same qualifications and be able to work independently on any of the QFES vehicles. This training has also opened a pathway and opportunities to work on other Government agencies vehicles if required, for example, the Queensland Police Service vehicles”.
For more information regarding heavy vehicle/ light automotive training or workplace training solutions, call TAFE Queensland SkillsTech on 1800 654 447 or visit www.tafeskillstech.edu.au.
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