The new apprentices are in its Queensland region, Central region (NSW/ACT) and Western Region (Western Australia/Northern Territory), taking to 160 the total number of apprentices currently within the company.
The 40 new apprentices have been engaged through Komatsu Australia's innovative Apprenticeship Development System (ADS) which is designed to give entrants to the industry not only key trade and business skills, but also life and personal responsibility skills and awareness.
Set up and piloted with Komatsu's NSW Hunter Valley apprentices during 2009 and 2010, the ADS took the runner-up spot in the federal Education Minister's 2009 Awards for Excellence.
According to Paul Richardson, Komatsu Australia's national organisational development manager, the apprentices undergo a rigorous selection process.
"Our recruitment cycle started back in September 2010 with advertising, screening, selection testing, interviewing and further screening prior to making final offers to those who were successful," he said.
Classroom training under the ADS is through the TAFE organisations in Queensland, Western Australia and NSW, using dedicated Komatsu facilities.
"We have developed a strategic education alliance with TAFE in these three states, taking advantage of the skills, strengths and industry knowledge within TAFEs, and adapting courses to our specific needs," said Paul.
"For example, in January our new apprentices from all three regions attended a Komatsu-designed TAFE skills application program in their base locations.
"This program developed in conjunction with TAFE to Komatsu specifications teaches practical hand and power tools skills as well as advanced first aid and OH&S to enable the awarding of work permits to our new apprentices," Paul said.
Ian MacCowan Komatsu Australia's general manager customer support said the ADS program is not just about training the company's apprentices.
"We want to give them life skills as well, plus bring higher levels of overall skills development for the industry which translate to very strong social benefits for us, the community and