If you’re considering a career as a forklift driver in Australia, you’re venturing into an in-demand profession. With a wide range of industries requiring skilled forklift drivers, from warehousing and logistics to construction and manufacturing, there are ample opportunities. However, to secure a job in this field, certain prerequisites must be met, including specific licences. Whether you’re a local or an overseas applicant, this article will guide you through the process.
Obtaining a Forklift Licence
In Australia, you must hold a High Risk Work (HRW) licence to operate a forklift. The HRW licence is issued under the National Standard for Licensing Persons Performing High Risk Work. It is recognised across all Australian states and territories.
To obtain a forklift licence:
- Complete a Training Course: Enrol in a training course conducted by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). The course typically includes both theory and practical assessments, ensuring you understand safe and efficient forklift operation.
- Apply for the Licence: After successfully completing the training, you’ll receive an assessment summary and a Notice of Satisfactory Assessment, which you can use to apply for your HRW licence with the local WHS (Work Health and Safety) regulator or equivalent in your state or territory.
Note: There are two types of forklift licences – LF and LO. An LF licence allows you to operate any forklift, except an order picking forklift truck, while an LO licence specifically qualifies you to operate an order picking forklift truck.
For Overseas Applicants
If you’re travelling from overseas, here are a few additional considerations:
- Check Your Visa Status: Before you begin training or apply for a job, make sure you have the right kind of visa. You’ll need a visa that allows you to work in Australia, such as a working holiday visa or a skilled worker visa.
- Assess Your Qualifications: If you already have a forklift licence from your home country, check whether it’s recognised in Australia. It’s likely you will still need to obtain an Australian HRW licence, but your existing licence could help demonstrate your skills and experience.
- English Proficiency: Being proficient in English is important, as the training, assessments, and job will likely require a good understanding of English. If needed, consider taking an English language course.
Once you have your licence, the next step is to start your job hunt. Here are some tips to increase your chances of securing a forklift driver position:
- Prepare a Targeted Resume: Highlight your forklift driving skills, emphasising safety, efficiency, and your experience, if any. Include your HRW licence details.
- Network: Reach out to contacts in the industry. Networking can often lead to job opportunities.
- Use Online Job Portals: Websites like Seek, Indeed, and Gumtree often have listings for forklift drivers. Apply to relevant jobs and set up job alerts.
- Engage with Recruitment Agencies: Some recruitment agencies like labouroptions.com.au specialise in blue-collar jobs. Registering with these agencies can increase your job prospects. See our latest job listings.
Securing the Job
You’ve landed an interview, what next?
- Prepare for the Interview: Be ready to discuss your experience and demonstrate your knowledge about forklift safety, operation, and maintenance.
- Show Your Licence: Bring your HRW licence to the interview. This verifies your qualifications and demonstrates your preparedness.
- Follow Up: After the interview, follow up with a thank you note expressing your continued interest in the position.
A career as a forklift driver in Australia can be rewarding with the right preparation and qualifications, regardless of whether you’re a local or overseas applicant. With your HRW licence in hand and a clear job-seeking strategy, you’ll be well on your way to landing a forklift driver role.