Bulk haulage and logistics specialist Newhaul has launched its first Kickstart Training Academy in Geraldton to service growing demand in the mid west region and beyond.
The Kickstart Training Academy is being delivered in conjunction with Newhaul’s joint venture partner Fenix Resources Limited after successfully securing a $250,000 Regional Economic Development Grant from the Government of Western Australia to assist in funding a state-of-art truck simulator at the centre of the initiative.
The simulator, which is being built in Melbourne, is mounted on a full motion system to recreate driving inertia forces with the highest fidelity and realism, similar to a flight simulator.
Learners will be training in a genuine dual seat truck cabin with all genuine fit-out and electronics.
Newhaul founder Craig Mitchell welcomed the Grant funding announced today by the Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC during a visit to the company’s Geraldton depot in her capacity as Minister for Regional Development.
“The contribution to our simulator investment by the State Government is the second major coup in as many months for our first Kickstart Training Academy, having attracted respected transport veteran and passionate trainer Heather Jones to lead the Geraldton Academy,” said Mitchell.
Better known for establishing Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls training in 2014 and her highly visible fleet of pink trucks, Jones said the opportunity to head-up the Kickstart Training Academy in Geraldton would provide a significant opportunity to continue her work in developing the next generation and safe and skilled drivers.
“The Academy will offer two training pathways for youth leaving school and mature age drivers wanting to upgrade their licence to the Multi Combination class,” she said.
“Our industry is currently experiencing a significant shortage of suitably qualified and experienced MC licence holders, which is a real issue for industries like mining that rely on bulk haulage,” said Jones.
Newhaul head of People, Culture and Training, Tahnia Livesay said the first three youth trainees would commence at the academy in January, with the ambition of being behind the wheel of 60 metre road trains within three years.
“If successful, our trainees have a once in a generational opportunity to build a highly rewarding and successful career as truck drivers and make a very real contribution to the State’s ongoing economic development at a time of high demand within the industry,” said Livesay.
The software powering the simulator will have the capability to recreate the routes Fenix-Newhaul trucks currently use, allowing learners to train in multi combination roadtrains around Geraldton, safely, without leaving the depot until they are suitably skilled.
Newhaul’s second Kickstart Training Academy is earmarked for the East Kimberly to support separate joint venture partner Agrimin Limited’s proposed Mackay Potash project.