TAFE NSW has launched its new Electromobility Micro Skills Course, as part of the partnership with Volvo Bus Australia (VBA) which was announced earlier this year. to develop a new range of specialised industry-based courses specific to the introduction of electric buses in Australia.
Volvo says the Micro Skills Course was launched on 7th February and has been designed to ensure the current and future workforce who drive, service and repair buses in NSW and across Australia are ‘electric ready’ as the NSW bus fleet of more than 8,000 buses transition to Zero-Emission Buses (ZEBs) by 2030.
TAFE NSW R/Head of Supply Chain and E-Commerce Skills Team, Chris Greentree said they have worked closely with bus manufacturers, operators and Government agencies to develop a training solution that enhances workers skills and bridges knowledge gaps.
“TAFE NSW Electric Vehicle Training Solution will deliver future-focused, tailored training to support bus operators in the safe transition to Zero-Emission Buses and new technology,” Chris Greentree said.
“It includes baseline training for all persons working around ZEBs, such as drivers, upskilling for existing mechanics and auto electricians, and brand-specific training for specialist technicians involved in repairs.
“This new Electric Bus Micro Skills course is delivered online and provides skills such as identifying high voltage and critical safety features, and the process to connect and disconnect charging systems.”
Matt Threlkeld, Executive Director of BusNSW said the peak body for the NSW private bus and coach industry has endorsed the TAFE NSW Electric Vehicle Solution.
“BusNSW welcomes the announcement of the TAFE NSW strategy to ensure varying levels of the bus workforce have access to coordinated upskilling and retraining initiatives with electric buses.”
Various Volvo Bus customers have already completed the Electric Bus Micro Skills Course ahead of its release, providing an overwhelming wave of positive feedback following completion.
Fleet Performance and Compliance Manager at Transdev, and valued customer of Volvo Bus Australia, Bruno Martino echoed this positivity in stating that he was “very happy with courses as a great foundation for the future for all levels of staff involved with Electric Buses.”
The launch of the TAFE NSW Electric Bus Micro Skills Course in partnership with VBA comes after Volvo Buses officially launched its first fully electric bus system in Australia, in September last year – the new Volvo BZL Electric.
Mitch Peden, general manager of Volvo Bus Australia, said these short courses will help mechanics upskill in electric vehicle technologies, such as working safely with high voltage systems.
“Electric vehicles introduce a new range of skills needs, and Volvo Bus as the leader in commercial vehicle safety is proud to be partnering with TAFE NSW to develop courses that feature an ongoing industry immersive focus, ensuring content is agile and continuously evolving to reflect industry needs.”
Peden also commented on the launch in relation to Volvo’s ongoing commitment to being the industry leader when it comes to safety and training.
“Safety has been part of Volvo’s global DNA since our inception in 1927, and we have proudly led with this core value across our 50 years within the Australia market,” Peden said.
“This value has guided our innovation over the years, from the invention of the 3-point seat belt in 1959, to our newly launched Volvo BZL Electric chassis in 2021. Safety is at the core of our product and service offerings, especially when it comes to training, to ensure that we are delivering on what our customers have come to expect from Volvo Buses. Our partnership with TAFE NSW in developing the Electric Bus Micro Skills Course is another testament to our commitment to prioritising safety. We are excited to be one step closer to offering this course to the public and to promote the safety and wellbeing of those who will encounter these high voltage vehicles.”