A drive in the coun­try

The Advertiser - Careers - - Mature-age Staff -

THE re­sources boom is lur­ing work­ers into the re­mote cor­ners of the coun­try, driv­ing de­mand for trans­port and lo­gis­tics work­ers through the roof.

As an in­dus­try once por­trayed as the do­main of men wear­ing shorts and blue sin­glets, the multi­bil­lion-dol­lar in­dus­try has evolved and is ex­pected to em­ploy three times as many peo­ple by 2050.

South Australia has been feel­ing the pinch of a na­tional short­age of truck and train driv­ers and as the min­ing sec­tor grows so, too, does the need for train­ing.

Ge­ne­see & Wy­oming Australia – which has op­er­a­tions in SA and the NT – has lo­co­mo­tives haul­ing bulk com­modi­ties, such as grain, steel, gyp­sum, liq­uids and mil­i­tary equip­ment. while also pro­vid­ing short-haul shunt­ing and ter­mi­nal op­er­a­tions.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Bert Easthope says the im­por­tant thing is to en­sure there is enough time to train work­ers, although do­ing so dif­fi­cult.

‘‘ We train in both Ade­laide and re­gional cen­tres and it’s gen­er­ally needs driven – we don’t have an an­nual in­take like uni­ver­si­ties,’’ he says.

‘‘ De­mand is al­ways high, there’s no short­age of peo­ple

is of­ten who want to be­come train driv­ers. We had 250 ap­pli­cants for a re­cent po­si­tion.’’

Mr Easthope said it was im­por­tant to train work­ers to a com­pe­tent level. Typ­i­cally, train driv­ers are paid dur­ing their train­ing pe­riod, which can take up to three years de­pend­ing on the job. Once train­ing is com­pleted, lo­co­mo­tive driv­ers can earn a six­fig­ure salary tak­ing penalty rates into ac­count.

Ge­ne­see & Wy­oming Australia op­er­ates six in­ter­modal ser­vices a week be­tween Ade­laide and Dar­win.

As a lo­co­mo­tive driver, work can in­clude haul­ing bulk ma­te­ri­als from mines to ports and man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties, with ma­jor con­tracts in­volv­ing Pen­rice Soda Prod­ucts, Gyp­sum Re­sources Australia and Ones­teel.

– Adam He­garty

Picture: Mark Brake

SKILLED: Driv­ers Andy Kol­losche and Brenton Qualmann in a Ge­ne­see & Wy­oming lo­co­mo­tive.

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