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Written by journalist Tu Chun-wei in Kaohsiung

Complying with the policy of the Armed Forces for the promotion of volunteer military system, corps of the Armed Forces actively guides soldiers to obtain licenses in order to increase the quality of their manpower. After being approved by the Ministry of Labor as one of the seven qualified sites for the tests of obtaining licenses for operating heavy equipment in Taiwan, the army engineer training center further listed 4 training programs for the operation of excavator, bulldozer, shovel loader and loader as license obtaining program teams to allow soldiers who receive these trainings to obtain “national” licenses. This may not only help them to further enhance their profession, but it is also beneficial for them to change their jobs timely in the future, which makes them more competitive.
May one learn professional skills and obtain licenses in the period of military service? In compliance with the promotion of volunteer military system and for the cultivation of excellent manpower for the Armed Forces, the army engineer training center has further transformed its training sites into qualified sites for the tests of license obtaining approved by the government and has started the training programs for soldiers to obtain national licenses in order to allow the soldiers to enhance their professional capabilities and obtain national licenses at the same site, which helps in their development of military and professional career. Currently, the center has already performed the first times of tests for the licenses of the operation of excavator and bulldozer. The pass rates of the tests were 95%, which showed that the results of the programs were very good.
The center indicates that if one would like to learn these skills at private training facilities, he may first need to know some basic knowledge about the operation of equipment and be able to enroll in a training program. Usually the lessons provided by private training facilities end in a period of only 3 days, and enrolling in a program for learning the operation of only 1 kind of equipment costs nearly NTD 5,000. We can say that is very expensive. However, the skill tests which are held by the center in compliance with the regulations and requirements of the Workforce Development Agency of the Ministry of Labor provide licenses of national level, and soldiers can obtain national licenses after training and passing the tests on site. They may be able to fit in related job positions quickly after they retire from the army in the future, so it is very practical.
Sergeant Major Hsiao Chih-chung, who is the instructor in charge of the trainings for operating heavy equipment, indicates that it doesn’t mean being professional for only being able to “operate” the equipment. The standards and requirements of national level license obtaining tests are harder and more rigorous, and ordinary digging and driving trainings may not help in passing the tests. One needs to receive systematic trainings first to pass the test and obtain related licenses.
The systematic trainings mentioned by him include digging a ditch and refilling dirt in it, the check for equipment, basic operations, S-shape driving through sticks and object loading tasks. If the trainees follow the requirements of each lesson of the program and carry out required tasks no matter facing any difficult level of ground, it may be not so hard for them to pass the tests and is also the final validation for their results of trainings.