Victorian Transport Association Cadetship program

By: Steve Skinner

The Victorian Transport Association truck driver cadetship program allows younger drivers to emerge with their Heavy Rigid license after extensive on-road training.

Victorian Transport Association Cadetship program
VTA CEO Neil Chambers

The Victorian Transport Association driver cadetship program allows younger drivers aged between 21 and 24 - to emerge with their Heavy Rigid license after extensive on-road training, including driving at night.

Completing the various units count towards a Certificate III in Driving Operations, and is an important opportunity to gain extensive on-the-job experience with company mentors.

Supported by leading insurance firm Zurich Insurance, the scheme will reduce insurance premiums and restrictions for drivers undergoing the cadetship.

The cadetship will be a platform for cadet drivers to be brought into businesses and trained on location by a company mentor, costing employers $5,800.

Changing with the times

Neil Chambers, CEO of the Victorian Transport Association, backs the VTA Cadetship and believes it is the benchmark for future formal hands-on training in the Transport Industry.

The graduated licensing system, where drivers progress through the different grades after serving set amounts of time, usually 12 months.

Focus points 

  • Consistent approach to driver training
  • Hands on experience and guidance
  • Building employees that have a wider skill set

Reducing the risk factor

The high cost of insurance when hiring younger workers is a common stumbling block for young people breaking into the industry.

Intensive training, proves to work and has for young drivers, in areas such as the army, where 20- and 21-year-olds can successfully drive road trains with tanks on the backs. And the Air Force has 21-year-olds flying fighter planes.

Proven to work

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and their "Enhanced Licensing Standard" system operate in a similar way to the new VTA Cadetship initiative, combining mentoring and a lot of actual driving in a multitude of terrains and conditions.

All allowing for training drivers to accelerate through the ranks after proving beyond doubt they are up to the job.

In turn, a HR candidate can get their license in five months instead of 12; and then secure their HC license in another seven months – saving themselves and their employer a whole year of marking time.

Another six months and by the age of 21 or 22 it’s claimed they could be driving a B-double much more competently than a lot of today’s older drivers; providing the much required boost of youth to the industry.


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