Earthmoving News, Industry Training, Komatsu, Western Australia

Komatsu opens new Perth training academy  

Komatsu has opened a new $6 million state-of-the-art training academy in Western Australia to help the tradies of the future develop their skills.

The opening of the training academy in the Perth suburb of Welshpool coincides with Komatsu doubling its annual investment in training to $12 million dollars.

The recently completed Perth training academy includes advanced workshop training rooms, a 30-tonne crane heavy lifting bay, and labs dedicated to hydraulics and electronics.

Regional General Manager, Glenn Swift says the purpose-built facility is Komatsu’s response to a critical skills shortage, particularly in WA’s resources sector.

“Skills and labour shortages are a significant challenge for the resource sector,” he says. “We need to invest in training and upskilling programs to ensure that our workforce is equipped with the necessary skills to meet the demand for these industries.”

Inside the Komatsu training academy
Image courtesy of Komatsu.

Komatsu’s training centre offers both apprentice and post-trade technical training in mining and construction industry jobs with a focus on diesel mechanics, auto electricians and fabricators.

Company research shows upon completion of Komatsu’s Award-Winning apprenticeship program, Komatsu’s customer-facing people will be approximately one year ahead of an equivalent conventionally trained apprentice who has completed an apprenticeship outside of this system.

According to Komatsu, this is due to innovative training methods incorporating VR/AR, and highly proficient educators. Komatsu also recognises the importance of equipping apprentices with important life skills, such as mental health awareness, public speaking, road safety and fatigue management, drug and alcohol awareness, and a variety of business skillsets.

In addition, Komatsu maintains an 84 per cent retention rate, far exceeding industry standards by up to 30 per cent.

Komatsu General Manager Training and Capability Janine Gurney says apprentices gain experience in next-generation technology including telemetry and driverless trucks as well as learning essential life skills.

“It’s about fitting into the broader company culture where we focus on safety, community, career progression and access to the latest technologies,” she says. “Our aim is that the apprenticeship is the first step in a lifelong career with us.”

Janine says the company aims to train 600 apprentices by 2025, and that women filled nearly half of the 2023 intake of 75 places.

Janine says Komatsu is a pioneer of autonomous haulage systems, and a leader in Smart Construction via integrated technology as it builds a workforce of the future.

“We want to help ordinary operators become fantastic operators so that when they are cutting or digging trenches for example, their precision is to the exact millimetre and a lot of our current technology does this for them,” she says.

The 2024 Komatsu apprenticeship program intake will open in July.

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