Earthmoving News

JCB and TAFE Western upskill operators

Formal accreditation for machinery operators will help them enhance their skills and maximise employment prospects, according to Phil Withell from JCB Construction Equipment Australia (CEA), which has worked with TAFE Western on a new program to be launched this month.

The program will train and assess operators in the construction, earthmoving and agricultural sectors for national accreditation. The program will be offered to businesses right across NSW and TAFE Western will work with business owners to conduct the training at their own premises or at various TAFE training locations across NSW.

TAFE Western are willing to work with companies to customise the program content and schedule to suit their individual requirements.

Phil Withell said the program offers a formal qualification for operators, while recognising their existing skills.

“Prior to September 2011, operators could not work without a WorkCover ticket. Since then, the requirements have allowed for either formal or informal training,” Phil said.

“Obviously operators can learn a lot of skills on the job, especially when they have an experienced mentor or supervisor; there are also benefits to a formal accreditation program.

“For operators, formal and recognised accreditation will make it easier to find work in a competitive job market. It will ensure they are up to date on current machinery technology and industry practices, which is important for operators who are either new to the industry, have been working for some time, or are looking to update their skills after being out of the industry or working with older equipment.

“For employers, an accreditation program offers peace of mind that operators understand best practice, have achieved benchmarked competencies and have learned from skilled trainers,” he said.

Phil said JCB CEA was pleased to be supporting TAFE Western on this initiative. TAFE Western’s Orange Campus will use a JCB loader/backhoe, skid steer loader and excavator for competency training and assessment. The program will also cover wheel loaders and telehandlers by arrangement.

TAFE Program Leader Lindsay Griffith said participants would be assessed on their current skill levels and then a program would be developed to meet their individual needs.

“There’ll be a theoretical component covering machine operations and safety and compliance requirements, plus a practical element covering practical operational skills appropriate to the machine and application,” he said.

“The machines used for instruction and operator evaluation need to be technically up-to-date and industry-current, so we’re delighted to have JCB on board. Additionally, JCB supports us with full technical services to ensure the machines will always run at their best.”

The first training program will be held on campus on 28 March, followed by an official program launch. JCB customers interested in arranging accreditation assessment should contact their JCB dealer or email

For the construction, earthmoving and agricultural sectors, the partnership means increased operator skillsets with tangible proof of qualifications.

Media are welcome to attend the first training session and launch event


12.00 noon, Friday 28 March 2014


TAFE Western, Orange College, Rural Skills Centre, Forest Road


A BBQ lunch will be provided following the official launch.


RSVP Valerie Antaki 02 9748 1002 or


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