The Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA) has highlighted concerns about knowledge transfer in the wider road transport industry following its well-received heavy vehicle training course this week.
Delivered in collaboration with the Commercial Vehicle Industry Association of Australia (CVIAA), the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) and VACC’s Commercial Vehicle Industry Association Victoria (CVIAV), the three-day course, taken by industry practitioners, covers engineering, certification and modifications.
Over a dozen industry experts have shared their knowledge across 26 separate topics.
“It highlights the need for knowledge transfer within the heavy vehicle sector,” said ARTSA Chairman and Principal of Hartwood Consulting, Peter Hart.
“Many of the topics covered are simply not taught in formal courses at TAFEs or University.
"Formal education courses have not caught up, but needs to do so before many of our experienced people retire. It is a looming crisis that does not get much coverage," he said.
ARTSA said in a statement that little awareness has been devoted to the need for knowledge sharing in an industry that has relied on ongoing leadership from practical people who often learn on the job.
“Whilst it is pleasing to have a sell-out audience to share critical knowledge in the heavy vehicle space, we need to find ways to devote more resources to the documentation and dissemination of much of the content covered in the certification, engineering and modification space,” said Hart.
Retirement is a critical factor in regards to the heavy vehicle knowledge transfer challenge, according to ARTSA Chief Executive, Robert Perkins.
“We are losing knowledge (through retirement) faster than we are transferring it to the next generation because much of our knowledge is informally learnt," he said. “It is up to ARTSA and similar organisations, including the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), to take on this challenge.”