Komatsu and Scania are making big training pushes to address skills shortages in the heavy transport and off-highway sectors, while drivetrain component supplier Dana is supporting technical training for electrified mining equipment.
Earthmoving and mining equipment manufacturer Komatsu is investing $6m in establishing a training hub in Perth, construction of which is expected to be completed in the first half of next year and open before next winter.
Scania is offering paid training and employment opportunities designed to lure light vehicle technicians over to the heavy truck sector to help fill multiple vacancies at its Australian workshops. The truck-maker is also seeking other skilled workers for its parts department.
Dana’s training initiative centres around a new TAFE Queensland electrification facility at SkillsTech in the Brisbane suburb of Acacia Ridge, where maintenance and repair skills for high-voltage, heavy-duty vehicles are taught.
Komatsu’s advanced training centre is hoped to address a growing skills shortage in WA, where an extra 40,000 resources workers will be required in the next two years and a looming skills shortage that could leave the state’s resources sector adrift to the tune of 33,000 workers by this time in 2023.
The company’s regional general manager Glenn Swift said COVID-19 travel restrictions, border closures and related uncertainty had also impacted worker mobility and access to talent. As a leader in autonomous mine trucks, Komatsu promises pathways into hi-tech careers for those so inclined.
Scania’s approach was prompted by light vehicle technicians approaching the company with a view to working on its trucks, which was welcome but impeded by their lack of hydraulics and air brake systems qualifications or experience.
The company decided to fund skills gap training through TAFE for technicians wanting to make the switch and work on its prime movers, buses, trailers and related equipment.
Depending on prior experience and motivation levels, the training and qualification process takes between 12 months and two years, according to Scania New South Wales and Victoria regional executive manager Sean Corby.
As well as TAFE Queensland, Dana customer Sandvik is involved in the electrification training support, which will enable students and apprentices to learn about the major differences, components, operations and needs of specialist electrified vehicles, and how to maintain, diagnose and repair their various systems.