Women driver train­ing ini­tia­tive to tackle short­fall

Australian Transport News - - CONTENTS -

A pi­lot train­ing pro­gram to help women ob­tain a heavy ve­hi­cle driver li­cences, will be of­fered through a Wodonga TAFE, Volvo and Trans­port Women Aus­tralia part­ner­ship

A PI­LOT TRAIN­ING PRO­GRAM, de­signed to help women ob­tain a heavy ve­hi­cle driver li­cence, will be of­fered through a new part­ner­ship formed by Wodonga TAFE, Volvo Group Aus­tralia and Trans­port Women Aus­tralia Lim­ited (TWAL).

The four-week in­ten­sive train­ing will be of­fered in met­ro­pol­i­tan Mel­bourne and cover the­ory, prac­ti­cal train­ing be­hind the wheel, me­chan­i­cal ap­pre­ci­a­tion and as­sess­ment, with the first in­take grad­u­at­ing at the end of Au­gust.

The first in­take of stu­dents to the Women Driv­ing Trans­port Ca­reers pro­gram will start the train­ing on July 23.

“It will give women the chance to get be­hind the wheel of a prime mover and work to­wards join­ing the heavy trans­port work­force as truck driv­ers, which is a skill in very high de­mand in Mel­bourne as well as through­out Aus­tralia,” says Si­mon Ma­caulay, the na­tional man­ager trans­port for Wodonga TAFE’s trans­port di­vi­sion, DECA.

Volvo Group Aus­tralia (VGA) re­search in 2016 found the av­er­age age of truck driv­ers in Aus­tralia is 47, while 52 per cent of em­ploy­ers strug­gle to at­tract the quan­tity of driv­ers needed and 46 per cent are al­ready ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a short­age of avail­able driv­ers.

VGA pres­i­dent and CEO Pe­ter Voorho­eve says Aus­tralia is stand­ing on the precipice of a se­ri­ous truck driver short­age.

“If the in­dus­try does not find ways to at­tract more driv­ers to the in­dus­try, we will all feel the pain in higher prices for the things that trucks move up and down our high­ways – food, cloth­ing, con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als, med­i­cal sup­plies and con­sumer goods to name just a few,” he says.

TWAL chair Jac­que­lene Brother­ton notes the part­ner­ship demon­strated how lead­ers in the heavy trans­port in­dus­try can be part of the so­lu­tion to ad­dress­ing the driver short­age.

“Find­ing path­ways into the heavy trans­port in­dus­try can be daunt­ing for peo­ple who have never had any ex­pe­ri­ence with it, which is why the sup­port be­ing pro­vided for this new train­ing is so valu­able,” Brother­ton says.

Jac­que­lene Brother­ton

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