RV training to lift manufacturing standards

By: Peter Quilty

The Australian RV industry’s world-class reputation was bolstered at the official launch of a new training college run by the Caravan Trade and Industries Association of Victoria (CTIAV) and Wodonga Institute of TAFE.

RV training to lift manufacturing standards
Structured on-the-job training will lift manufacturing skills across the RV industry.

The Victorian Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert unveiled the National Caravan Industry Training College (NCITC) – hosted by Supreme Caravans in Craigieburn.

The NCITC is an innovative partnership between CTIAV and Wodonga TAFE which aims to raise the professionalism and standards of the caravan industry by producing skilled people with nationally-accredited industry qualifications and non-accredited industry-specific training.

CTIAV chief executive Rob Lucas said the launch marked the beginning of another chapter of growth and development for the industry. 

"The caravan industry is worth over $1.4 billion per annum, directly employing over 5500 people. As a vibrant and exciting industry, there is a genuine commitment to the ongoing development of skills so that the industry continues to thrive by ensuring Australian produced recreational vehicles and services are world-class," Mr Lucas said.

"The college is a significant investment in the future of our industry and aims to provide people with real opportunities for careers in the recreational vehicle industry. The college will support the association’s strategies to create jobs in our industry."

Sherren Rahaley, team leader of Corporate Workforce Development and Training at Wodonga TAFE, said the NCITC would offer a training solution for employees and help raise the standard of the industry sector.

"We will do this by providing a clear pathway for new and existing workers and deliver training that is relevant, innovative and flexible to the needs of the individual, employer and industry," Ms Rahaley said.

CTIAV president Nat Schiavello said the NCITC launch marked a historic day for the association and its members.

"The future prospects for our industry are exciting… however, the training and development of our industry people is paramount to our ongoing success and growth," Mr Schiavello said.

Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont said the NCITC launch was a significant day in the development of the caravanning and camping industry.

"This is just one initiative which is seeing industry taking a stand for industry," Mr Lamont said. "When we see particularly manufacturing morphing away from local production, our industry continues to remain a success story, and it is projects such as this which sees industry standing up and working in partnership with government and government providers which will see the industry remain strong into the future."

Purple Line director Malcolm Hill said the NCITC will prove to be one of the most important and valuable initiatives our industry has seen in decades.

"It is vital to the caravan industry, from manufacturing through to servicing and repair, that we have the skills to deliver a consistently high quality experience to our customers. As a partnership between the industry and the education sector, the college can deliver the skills that the industry needs both now and into the future," Mr Hill said.

The NCITC began taking in enrolments in late August, with part-time training to be delivered in real workplace time and duration of 18-24 months by TAFE trainers and assessors.

Additional partnerships with industry suppliers and professional training facilitators will be responsible for delivering non-accredited industry specific training.

Students completing the accredited training programs will receive a formal qualification in Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle Manufacture MSA30610, Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle and Accessories Retailing MSA30710, and Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle - Service and Repair MSA30510.

Apart from student programs, the NCITC will also offer three-day Caravan Industry Supervisors Courses as well as an emerging leaders program which will be part residential and part course work.

Management and technical workshops as well as ongoing industry professional development programs will also be available.

Supporting partners of the NCITC are Caravan Electrical Solutions, Camec, Thetford, G&S Chassis, Dometic, Purple Line, Preston Chassis and Al-Ko International.

– Peter Quilty