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Alex TenKate - Managing Director, Major Group

Alex TenKate
'We run courses in truck licensing and certification, plant operator courses and short courses such as load restraint and fatigue management.'

Alex is the managing director of Major Group in Yatala Queensland. Major has two divisions – machinery plant hire and training. They provide nationally recognised industry based truck driver and machinery operator training, as well as nationally recognised qualification courses.

Alex started Major in 1986 solely as a haulage and plant hire company. However, with the growing economy, the building boom in South-East Queensland, and the introduction of workplace health and safety requirements, Alex recognised the need for properly skilled and trained people. In 1998 the Major Training division was born.
Alex has over 35 years industry experience. At 18, he obtained his crane licence and he has been involved in the transport, logistics and construction industries ever since.

How has transport and logistics changed since you began?

I have been involved in transport and related industries since getting my second class crane ticket when I was 18. When I started out I received on-the-job training with a buddy showing me the ropes. That was generally what happened in those days. Now more formal training is required by law. This is one of the reasons why I started Major’s training division. Through legislation such as Chain Of Responsibility regulations, employers are required to give employees formal training that is supported by workplace health and safety laws, insurance requirements and more. Training formalities, regardless of industry, are a prime focus for any company today. With all of the regulatory laws now in place, companies are putting a growing emphasis on qualifications, with some hiring only qualified staff on particular sites or depots.

What is the current state of the transport industry?

Through discussions with my peers, I know that there is definitely a huge call for quality drivers out there. Currently it’s a workers market – there are more jobs than there are people to fill them so those working in the industry have a good choice of jobs and working conditions. A large Brisbane-based transport company that we undertake Certificate III training with is continually desperate for drivers – they recently wanted 12 drivers. I also know, from our work with the bus industry, that in South-East Queensland alone they need 1500 drivers.

What range of courses does Major offer?

I feel that Major upholds my vision of becoming a ‘one-stop training shop’ for the transport, logistics and construction industries in Queensland. We run courses in truck licensing and certification, plant operator courses and short courses such as load restraint and fatigue management. We also provide industry qualifications including Certificate III courses. Major is a registered training organisation (RTO) which means we are regulated by the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) ensuring that we are compliant and professional in our training delivery.

Why is an RTO a good alternative to TAFE or university?

I think an RTO is a good alternative as they are genuinely more industry focused. At Major, we pride ourselves on our recognised simulated work environment. This, along with our modern fleet of trucks and machinery and our highly qualified training professionals, allows us to deliver hands-on, real-life and industry relevant training methods that help individuals as soon as they enter the work force. I also think RTOs are great for the many people, myself included, who aren’t theory orientated – I struggled at school and when I was doing my qualifications. RTOs like ours can give individuals a different learning experience. The focus on hands-on learning is directed at their learning style. What we’re trying to do is help everyday Australians improve themselves and get jobs.

What courses are the most popular at the moment?

Loadshifting and truck driver training always remain popular, from first timers through to people upgrading their licences or doing some refresher training. Our Certificate courses have grown in popularity over the past six months, particularly as governments try to meet skills shortages. There is now a Certificate II skills voucher program, which has been extremely successful and popular. It is open to people who are over 25 and have not completed Year 12 or a Certificate II equivalent.

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