ATA backing apprenticeship plan

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is showing its full support of a proposal to establish a national trailer and chassis maintenance apprenticeship.

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) to demonstrate the need for such a program. The ATA believes that this program will further enhance the professionalism of the job and enhance the safety of the industry.

ITC member, Val Gomez from the Silk Logistics Group has been working towards getting a program set up in Victoria to train trailer mechanics for over 15 years. He believes there is now a need for this to be formally recognised as an apprenticeship.

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

Val advised that there needed to be proof that the industry has gotten behind this apprenticeship plan in order to get it accredited, calling on all fleet managers who would like to see this become a nationally recognised apprenticeship to write to the VACC and show their support.

ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair also urged all fleet managers to assist in getting the program off the ground by demonstrating their support.

“In many workshops, trailer repairs are commonly done by skilled but unqualified people,” said Stuart. “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.”

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