IN­DUS­TRY RIGHT BE­HIND SOUTH CAN­TER­BURY TRAIN­ING COURSE RE­VIVAL

New Zealand Truck & Driver - - Fleet Focus - By Steve Divers Direc­tor – ca­reer path­ways – road freight trans­port Sec­tor Work­force En­gage­ment Pro­gramme (SWEP)

IN PRE­VI­OUS AR­TI­CLES I HAVE HIGH­LIGHTED THE need for in­dus­try to sup­port train­ing ini­tia­tives – es­sen­tially, align­ing in­dus­try to the ter­tiary in­sti­tute train­ing pro­grammes.

There are a few rea­sons why: These pro­grammes are now at­tract­ing sup­port from Gov­ern­ment in the form of free fees – and they’re not lim­ited to school leavers, but are also for stu­dents who have never un­der­taken a level 3 pro­gramme.

Sec­ondly, it has been un­fairly said that these pro­grammes are not pro­duc­ing ex­pe­ri­enced driv­ers – some­thing that’s in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult when 16 stu­dents have to share one truck! Hence in­dus­try needs to pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents to gain ex­pe­ri­ence – through clus­ter groups of op­er­a­tors work­ing with the train­ing provider.

Thirdly, if in­dus­try doesn’t sup­port these pro­grammes they wind­up very quickly. And the chal­lenge in­volved in later res­ur­rect­ing a course has been brought home in South Can­ter­bury.

Ara Polytech is the former Ao­raki Polytech, which has cam­puses in Christchurch and Ti­maru. The Ti­maru cam­pus ceased com­mer­cial road trans­port cour­ses some years ago.

For the past 10 months, lo­cal trans­port op­er­a­tors and the Ti­maru dis­trict eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment agency Ao­raki De­vel­op­ment, in part­ner­ship with Ara Polytech and as­sisted by SWEP, have worked to­gether to launch a new pro­gramme start­ing this month.

This is the re­sult of sub­stan­tial col­lab­o­ra­tion and fol­lows the Trans­port Sec­tor Day held at the Ti­maru Race­way in March this year, which was sup­ported by the South Can­ter­bury Cham­ber of Com­merce and Ca­reers NZ.

Now en­rol­ments are open for the New Zealand Cer­tifi­cate in Com­mer­cial Road Trans­port (Heavy

Ve­hi­cle Op­er­a­tor) Level 3 at Ara. The pro­gramme will fill the need for skilled trans­port and lo­gis­tics work­ers in South Can­ter­bury, where the trans­port and lo­gis­tics in­dus­try is a large em­ployer – and grow­ing.

Alle McGrath, chief peo­ple of­fi­cer at Hil­ton Haulage, says that his­tor­i­cally there has not been a train­ing and ed­u­ca­tional path­way into the re­gion’s trans­port and lo­gis­tics sec­tor “for peo­ple to kick­start their ca­reers in this field.”

As chair of the new Trans­port & Lo­gis­tics Group over­see­ing the ini­tia­tive, McGrath is pleased with the out­come: “With the chal­leng­ing na­ture of the li­cens­ing process, it has been dif­fi­cult to pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties in terms of ‘open­ing the doors’ to peo­ple with lit­tle to no ex­pe­ri­ence at driv­ing trucks and op­er­at­ing fork­lifts.

“This pro­gramme now pro­vides that op­por­tu­nity for South Can­ter­bury.”

In­dus­try part­ners helped con­struct the con­tent of the 30-week pro­gramme and an in­dus­try panel will con­tinue to en­sure that it de­liv­ers the key skills, knowl­edge and com­pe­ten­cies that in­dus­try ex­pects.

Road Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion of NZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Den­nis

Robert­son says the pro­gramme is “a great ini­tia­tive for South Can­ter­bury and the in­dus­try at large, to ad­dress the most press­ing prob­lem we have – the driver short­age.”

Twenty lo­cal busi­nesses in the trans­port and lo­gis­tics sec­tor are on board and help­ing to drive the new course, work­ing to­gether for the good of the sec­tor

Says Alle McGrath: “The fact that it has been de­signed and moulded by in­dus­try in a col­lab­o­ra­tive way, means that it has been set up for suc­cess – a pro­gramme that is tar­geted, rel­e­vant and in­cludes a sub­stan­tial dose of work place­ment within in­dus­try.”

Stu­dents gain their Class 2 li­cence on week two of the course, which means that they can achieve their Class 4 li­cence by the time the course fin­ishes. Stu­dents also gain their F en­dorse­ment and First Aid Cer­tifi­cate, as well as learn­ing many other key skills such as load­ing and un­load­ing, risk man­age­ment, route plan­ning, dy­nam­ics and han­dling, cus­tomer ser­vice skills and fa­tigue man­age­ment.

Suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of the course will see “well-rounded, skilled and qual­i­fied” stu­dents grad­u­ate with the re­quired li­cences plus “a solid chunk of work ex­pe­ri­ence gained on the ground – in the work­places where they will gain per­ma­nent em­ploy­ment. It’s a win­win for em­ploy­ers and stu­dents,” McGrath says.

In­dus­try part­ners, in­clud­ing Ti­maru Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal, Moloney Dis­tri­bu­tion, Pye Group and Ful­ton Ho­gan, are more than ready to back the new pro­gramme, she adds: “The launch will be well sup­ported and wel­comed in the re­gion. We could say it is well over­due.

“Other re­gions have had suc­cess in this space and we have spent time look­ing at their suc­cesses and learn­ing from the pro­grammes they have in place cur­rently.

“The ded­i­ca­tion from the in­dus­try to date – to sup­port this pro­gramme and work with Ara to pro­duce a pro­gramme that will de­liver the out­comes we need: More skilled, mo­ti­vated driv­ers and op­er­a­tors – sug­gests that there is a lot of in­ter­est and con­fi­dence in what the pro­gramme will de­liver.”

In­dus­try part­ners have com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing stu­dents with work place­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and pro­vid­ing on­go­ing feed­back to Ara, to make the pro­gramme as prac­ti­cal and rel­e­vant as pos­si­ble.

Hil­ton Haulage is al­ready gear­ing up to par­tic­i­pate, says McGrath: “Like other lo­cal trans­port op­er­a­tors, Hil­ton Haulage will be pro­vid­ing work place­ment ex­pe­ri­ence to stu­dents on the pro­gramme – giv­ing them hands-on, prac­ti­cal, real-life ex­pe­ri­ence within the trans­port en­vi­ron­ment.

“The pro­gramme will be run with ‘ev­ery­day trans­port life’ in mind – for ex­am­ple, stu­dents will be re­quired to com­plete a log­book for each day on the pro­gramme, whether they’re in the class­room or out in the field.”

The key dif­fer­ence for the Ara course is that it is sup­ported by an in­dus­try panel in which ev­ery mem­ber is from the trans­port in­dus­try.

Fi­nally, an­other ini­tia­tive that SWEP has been work­ing to achieve is to re­launch the Ac­cel­er­ated Li­cens­ing Process. This is well un­der way at present and will com­ple­ment the South Can­ter­bury ini­tia­tive.

This will be a fea­ture for an up­com­ing ar­ti­cle – pro­vid­ing a how-to guide to ac­cel­er­ate the grad­u­ated driver li­cence sys­tem…for qual­i­fy­ing com­pa­nies to start cadet­ship and trainee pro­grammes. T&D

Mem­bers of the in­dus­try panel supporting the Ara train­ing pro­gramme are (from left): Steve Divers (SWEP), Rob McCoid (Fon­terra), Hamish Bruce (H&J Bruce Trans­port), John Brom­ley (Ti­maru Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal), Gor­don Handy (Handy Group), Brett King (Ful­ton Ho­gan), Vaughan Moloney (Moloney Dis­tri­bu­tion), Michelle Pye (Pye Group), Laura Handy† (Ara In­sti­tute) and chair­per­son Alle McGrath (Hil­ton Haulage). Ao­raki De­vel­op­ment’s Nigel Daven­port is ab­sent

Above left: Twenty trans­port and lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies are supporting the pro­grammeRight: A Trans­port Sec­tor Day in Ti­maru in March was part of the leadup to the launch of the new course

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