Earthmoving News

Komatsu to Invest $6 Million to Create State-of-the-art Training Facility to Help Address Sector Skills Shortage

Global manufacturer of mining and earthmoving equipment cements major milestone in national
training investment, by creating west coast training hub in Welshpool, Perth
(August 18, 2021) Construction is set to commence on a new $6M state-of-the-art, Komatsu
apprentice and innovation training facility in Perth. Construction is expected to be completed in H1
2022 and fully operational three months after completion.

The announcement follows recent reports that the Western Australian labour market may need an
extra 40,000 resources workers over the next two years due to an unprecedented skills shortage.
The report, by The Resources Sector Workforce, found that the sector’s skills shortage could reach
33,000 people by September 2023, driven by factors including competition from eastern states,
internal competition between Western Australian projects, and a decline in interstate migration.
In addition, Glenn Swift, Komatsu Regional General Manager – Western, says that the impact of
Covid-19 and closed borders have presented additional challenges around talent availability and
accessibility in market.

“Our WA operation works heavily with the mining industry, where a large portion of the workforce are
interstate, fly-in-fly-out workers.
“While border closures meant many were unable to fly in, the general uncertainty of the pandemic left
many experienced and skilled workers opting to stay closer to home – placing even greater pressure
on the existing skills shortage.”

Swift adds that while Komatsu has long prioritized and invested heavily in training and development,
the current market challenges present an even greater need to create an industry-leading and future focused,
training facility in the west. This is part of the reason the business has doubled its annual
training investment to $12M – in order to drive greater impact for apprentices, industry and the

Located in Welshpool, Perth, the innovative and futuristic facility will deliver a platinum level of
training, helping to create career development opportunities for current and future generations, while
delivering on Komatsu’s strategic vision to create a strong, technically proficient and capable
technician workforce from apprentices through to experienced technicians.

More specifically, the training centre will be highly interactive, technically advanced, and globally
connected, with futuristic capabilities that will help establish career pathways into high technology
areas of autonomous and smart construction, which will play a key role in developing the workforce of
the future.

As the global leader in Autonomous Haulage, the training centre also reflects the ongoing expansion
of Komatsu’s Autonomous Haulage fleet in the Pilbara, which is where the first commercially available
Autonomous Haulage units globally were introduced in 2008. Across the globe, Komatsu has
deployed over 385 driverless trucks that have moved more than 3 billion tonnes of earth.
Cementing another major milestone in Komatsu’s ongoing investment in training, the new
development will serve as the west coast training hub for the business and industry partners and
follows a $7M investment into its east coast training facility in Sherwood, Brisbane in 2013.
Janine Gurney, General Manager of the Komatsu Training Academy says that in addition to post
trade and technical training, the new facility will offer a suite of nationally recognized qualifications
across Engineering, Civil Construction, Automotive and Mobile Plant Technology, as well as
Autonomous Workplace and Remote Operations.

Our award-winning apprenticeship training scheme aims to deliver not just the technical training, but
also gives apprentices essential ‘life skills’, so that new industry entrants have both the life and
personal responsibility skills and awareness, as well as the essential trade skills.
“The innovative program has reportedly achieved measurable results, with apprentices being six
months ahead of their peers doing traditional apprenticeships and have a one-year advantage at the
completion of their training,” she says.

Gurney adds that the goal is to train 500 apprentices over the next 3-4 years, while maintaining their
94% retention rate which far surpasses industry standards of around 60-70%.
“We also have a strong focus on diversity and inclusion, with a purpose-built facility offering an even
balance of amenity for both men and women which is the new norm for Komatsu facilities. In fact, last
year Komatsu achieved a 50:50 gender ratio apprenticeship uptake which is something we’re very
proud of,” she says.

Demonstrating Komatsu’s broader commitment to the environment and green technology, the
Welshpool facility will be a complete solar plant with LED lighting and follows the installation of 10
major solar facilities across the country over the past three years.
The business is also celebrating its 100-year anniversary, globally, with a vision to create value
through manufacturing and technology innovation to empower a sustainable future where businesses,
people and the planet thrive together.
An artist impression and fly-through of new facility can be viewed and downloaded here.

Komatsu Welshpool Facility | Key Features & Metrics

  • New, modern workshop training rooms and amenity
  • Workshop: 1595m2 | Office & Amenity: 1270m2
  • 30 tonne crane in Heavy Lifting Bay; with balance of workshop 5 Tonne crane capacity
  • Flow through workshop to maximise flexibility
  • Lab rooms dedicated to Hydraulics, Electrical and Electronics

Komatsu develops and supplies technologies, equipment and services for the construction, mining,
forklift, industrial and forestry markets. For a century, the company has been creating value for its
customers through manufacturing and technology innovation, partnering with others to empower a
sustainable future where people, business and the planet thrive together. Front-line industries
worldwide use Komatsu solutions to develop modern infrastructure, extract fundamental minerals,
maintain forests and create consumer products. The company’s global service and distributor networks
support customer operations to enhance safety and productivity while optimizing performance.

Haylie Marchant
Ph: 0479 008 749

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