IN a bid to prove there is life after Electrolux, 21 home products employees from the closing down Orange refrigeration plant have taken part in a road and transport heavy rigid drivers licence course.
After participating in individual career planning interviews, the group faced a week-long intensive course to receive their heavy vehicle driver training at TAFE Western’s state-of- the-art mobile simulator, which is housed in a pantech truck.
One of the Electrolux workers looking to shore up his future, Jason King said after 12 years at the Orange plant, completing the heavy vehicle training course was a sound way to help provide for his young family.
“The road transport course has been excellent in preparing me for obtaining my heavy rigid licence,” Mr King said.
“I have also gained new skills in properly securing a load and work, health and safety procedures. I believe this course will help me get a job as a local delivery driver.”
An Electrolux employee for over 35 years, Gary Rosser, also hopes to gain employment in the transport industry.
“TAFE Western’s heavy vehicle simulator is a great way to get a feel for driving a truck. It is so real with lots of different scenarios including night driving, a truck tire blowing out and heavy winds swaying the vehicle,” Mr Rosser said.
“I was a little apprehensive about going to TAFE however I have learnt heaps and the teachers have been very approachable and helpful.”
The average driver makes around 500 decisions for each 100 kilometres they drive.
There are shortages of skilled workers in the transport industry and predictions indicate that road freight will double by 2020.
Ray Driscoll, TAFE Western specialist road transport teacher said: “This type of training in a safe environment is the ideal way for students to gain the experience and skills needed to drive heavy vehicles without putting at risk the health and safety of others on the road.”