The new major contract between Express Coach Builders in partnership with Volvo Bus for Buslines, is set to provide a timely boost for regional NSW given the current skill shortages in the industry, and will ultimately support local jobs, training and manufacturing across the North Coast of NSW.
In order to boost the amount of qualified staff in the skills necessary for Express Coach Builder’s bus body building operations, the company is heavily investing in apprenticeships to support its expanding operations and currently have more than 13 apprentices, which Express is looking at increasing this year.
With a heavy focus on grass roots staff, Express Coach Builders is being supported by local partners like Volvo Bus Australia that has been facilitating hands on training for current staff at the Macksville facility.
“At Volvo Bus Australia, we have been supplying the NSW bus market now for 51 years. In fact, there are over 4,000 Volvo Buses active in the NSW contracted bus fleet today. These buses are supported each and every day by a significant workforce located in Western and South Western Sydney, the Hunter Valley and service sites across the state,” says David Mead, Vice President, Volvo Bus Asia Pacific Region.
Having supported the NSW bus market for over 5 decades, creating local jobs has been a key part of Volvo Bus Australia’s success, with the business currently employing thousands across NSW in multiple VCV dealerships as well as the Minto parts centre in Western Sydney.
It is these local jobs that have ultimately supported the efforts of Volvo Bus in Australia, in enabling the company to mark its 12th year of consecutive leadership in Australia, with significant sales in NSW and, placing Volvo as the only premium European OEM with an electric offering that is ready for local body build and delivery in 2022.
Given Volvo’s long-term partnership with Buslines and the expected outcomes of the contract with Express Coach Builders, it is no surprise that Volvo Bus Australia is thrilled to be supporting such a key initiative for regional NSW.
“Having worked alongside our valued customer Buslines for more than 20 years, it is just fantastic to see us continuing to service Buslines in partnership with Express Coach Builders as part of the new body build contract,” says Mitch Peden, General Manager, Volvo Bus Australia.
“It’s certainly been a challenging time for regional NSW manufacturing with recent skill shortages and it is wonderful to see our partner Express Coach Builders getting the boost it needs to excel its operations and support local workers and the industry. With Express planning on expanding its apprenticeship program and upskilling staff, we are excited to see what comes ahead for the business and the positive impact this will have on manufacturing and job creation in regional NSW.”