Road Transport

Supplier collaborates on accreditation program for operators

Formal national accreditation for machinery operators will help enhance skills and maximise employment prospects, according to Phil Withell from JCB Construction Equipment Australia (CEA).
The program will be offered to businesses across New South Wales and TAFE Western will work with business owners to conduct the training at their own premises or at TAFE training locations. TAFE Western is willing to work with companies to customise the content and schedule to suit requirements.
Withell said JCB CEA was pleased to be supporting TAFE Western on this initiative and that the program offered a formal qualification for operators, while recognising existing skills. 
?Prior to September 2011, operators could not work without a WorkCover ticket. Since then, the requirements have allowed for either formal or informal training,? Withell said.
?Obviously operators can learn a lot of skills on the job, especially when they have an experienced mentor or supervisor; there are also benefits to a formal accreditation program. For operators, formal and recognised accreditation will make it easier to find work in a competitive job market. 
?It will ensure they are up to date on current machinery technology and industry practices, which is important for operators who are either new to the industry, have been working for some time, or are looking to update their skills after being out of the industry or working with older equipment.
?For employers, an accreditation program offers peace of mind that operators understand best practice, have achieved benchmarked competencies and have learned from skilled trainers,? Withell said.
Practical operation skills
TAFE Western’s Orange Campus will use a JCB loader/backhoe, skid steer loader and excavator for competency training and assessment. The program will also cover wheel loaders and telehandlers.
TAFE program leader Lindsay Griffith said participants would be assessed on their current skill levels and then a program would be developed to meet individual needs.
?There?ll be a theoretical component covering machine operations and safety and compliance requirements, plus a practical element covering practical operational skills appropriate to the machine and application,? Griffith said.
Source: JCB Construction Equipment Australia

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