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Thursday, April 26, 2018

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Move to address truck driver shortage

Posted at 9:36am Saturday 24 Jun, 2017

A new initiative to address a shortage of truck drivers by attracting more to the industry has been welcomed by a freight logistics strategy group.

The Bay of Connections Freight Logistics Action Group (FLAG) has welcomed a new government and industry initiative to help attract and train new freight truck drivers.

FLAG says 32 per cent of the nation’s freight travel is on roads in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato.

They hope the new Government led Sector Workforce Engagement Programme (SWEP), will assist in attracting 1,000 more drivers into the road freight transport industry nationwide.

FLAG chairman John Galbraith says the scheme is positive as many businesses are struggling to find skilled drivers as the existing workforce in that field is ageing.

“The problem won’t go away and it’s something we must address quickly as an industry."

SWEP director of Career Pathways Steve Divers says since 2013 the industry has lost 3,000 drivers and needs 1000 more drivers on top of those being trained each year to replace drivers who have been lost due mostly due to retirement, illness or injury.

“We currently train 1800 drivers a year but students need to know there is a career path and what that path looks like."

Freight operator, GBC Winstone national transport sales manager Jon Reid says the biggest issue faced when recruiting is the actual shortage of ‘skilled and capable’ drivers available.

“The hours required and the wages on offer also means there are difficulties around attracting young people to an industry that is not looked upon favourably as a career path."

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology (formerly BOP Polytechnic) has operated its Logistics Training Centre in Tauranga since 2002 and has trained over 600 heavy transport and distribution operators for industry in that time.

The Institute offers a Certificate in Road Transport Level 3, and says their biggest barrier is the current driver licensing laws.

Group Leader of Logistics training Centre at Toi-Ohomai, Dean Colville, says students are 18 and half years old by the time they get their full car license and then they have to wait a further six months before they do the course and can get their class 2 license.

SWEP’s Steve Divers agrees this is a problem, with less than 9% of 20-34 year olds passing their full class license in 2016.

“We need to produce more class 2 licenses and we also need the freight and truck industry to support those drivers in further training so they can obtain their class 4 and 5 licenses.”


Potential employers I'm here!

Posted on 09-07-2017 00:56 | By Cjoy68

I am available for work and I have plenty of experience but getting a foot in the door after sending many cv and cover letters im not getting anywhere. I know that I have the attributes and willingness as well as the licences required so if there is an employer reading this and has a position available I am ready to go..just saying....
Yep not a clue

Posted on 05-07-2017 07:20 | By Davesvk

As a truck driver for many years i left it due to being left to hang by company and have moved on into other jobs were i do less hours am home every nite and make a lot more money and thats were the problem lies as a truck driver their is no work life ballance after doing 70 hours driving theirs no time for anything else if you want good drivers PAY THEM MORE its simple

Posted on 25-06-2017 16:07 | By waiknot

Let the market forces dictate the pay rate, so let’s import lots of people from other countries who will work cheap and keep pay rates low.

Posted on 25-06-2017 08:15 | By GreertonCynic

These jobs are going to be among the first to go with autonomous vehicles. Budweiser is already doing robot deliveries.
Answer in the story

Posted on 24-06-2017 21:41 | By waiknot

To quote from the story "The hours required and the wages on offer also means there are difficulties around attracting young people to an industry that is not looked upon favourably as a career path." The problem is stated by the industry clearly they should know the solution.

Posted on 24-06-2017 17:01 | By Capt_Kaveman

Mean class 5 the reason to expensive and slack wages

Posted on 24-06-2017 15:23 | By outback

as with the last 2 comments the hourly rate is pretty sad especially when you consider the value of what you are driving down the road.
truck drivers

Posted on 24-06-2017 10:37 | By dumbkof2

when companies start paying a decent wage then there will not be a shortage
How about this..

Posted on 24-06-2017 10:32 | By Axeltic

A unique approach could be to have higher rates of pay.. The truckies I know, have left for better paying jobs..Cheers.. Dennis.

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