Queensland's freight needs are extensively serviced by road transport which provides a significant and critical contribution to the State economy. Research by the Commonwealth Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics, and the heavy vehicle industry, clearly indicates a doubling of the road freight task (tonnes per kilometres travelled) by the year 2020.
For the heavy vehicle repair sector to move forward and cope with the growth of the sector, a number of challenges need to be addressed collaboratively.
From initial industry collaboration and research conducted under the industry's skills formation strategy project, a number of factors were identified including:
- The need for ongoing skills development due to the continuous changes in the sector caused by technology advancement and product development innovation that has occurred and continues to occur in heavy vehicle design and manufacture.
- The broad range of employers within the sector, from the large organisations employing over one hundred employees down to small businesses employing only a few skilled tradesmen. This differentiation between employers leads to discrepancy in work conditions, pay rates and culture in the heavy vehicle repair sector.
- The sectors ability to secure a skilled workforce due to increasing competition from other sectors of the economy for new entrants to the labour market.
- Problems experienced by the industry in attempting to attract new entrants to this sector including the community perception of poor work conditions and career possibilities.
- The reliance of the sector upon the traditional apprenticeship pathway as the primary method of necessary skills development of its workforce.
- The issue of retaining qualified staff who leave the industry prematurely for a career change or are attracted to work in other segments of the heavy vehicle repair sector.
Through the Heavy Vehicle Repair Skills Formation Strategy, industry implemented a number of activities to assist the identified workforce issues. Further strategies and activities will continue to be driven by the Commercial Vehicle Industry Association of Queensland (CVIAQ) with relevant stakeholders.
Strategies implemented are outlined in the final report which can be viewed in strategy publications.