Industry sets bold goal to attract new applicants

We continue to promote and grow our Road to success Qualification Pathway programmes and it is always great when we see our graduates and trainees succeeding in their new roles and with their online learning. We currently have 11 graduates of the Driver Traineeship programme and 40 trainees are currently completing the qualifications through the Driver Traineeship and Driver Boost pathways.

Applications for those wanting to join our traineeship programme are continuing to come through and the only block in the process we have is finding operators willing to take a trainee on in their business. Since the launch of the Road to success Driver Traineeship in 2021, there have been 418 people apply through our website – all with a passion for driving, a desire to learn to be a professional driver and make a career in road transport. While not all applicants are suitable for the programme or our industry, they still outnumber the openings that are available to place them. If twice as many operators were willing to take one trainee on each (in any capacity in their business) and give them a start, we would have twice the number of new drivers beginning their training and careers in transport, doubling the number of class 5 drivers at the end of this year. Anyone can see that this would be a significant advancement in answering the call to increase our driving pool and address the reported driver shortage.

New applicants alone are not the answer; growing current class 2 drivers and using the micro credentials to build and extend knowledge to develop their skill and competency through licence progression is a must-do also. We know operators are already bringing these drivers through and so are encouraging the use of the traineeship micro-credentials in addition to the great on-the-job training already being given, to provide a formal qualification to help provide reassurance that the knowledge has been retained.

Late last year, Road to success set itself “the big hairy audacious goal” of 1,000 enrolments in tertiary qualifications by the end of 2023.

Work over the last couple of years has seen the Road to success tertiary qualifications pathway gain more momentum than ever. That increasing traction is largely down to buy-in by road transport companies – thanks go to the likes of Carr and Haslam, KAM Transport, NZ Express, Mackleys, Road Transport Logistics, TranzLiquid, and many other operators. The leadership they have shown, particularly in innovating and changing their approach, makes it easier to nurture new-to-industry drivers or give their current driver an opportunity to gain a fit-for-purpose industry qualification.

Having the tertiary qualification pathway integrated with existing on-the-job training for new drivers, and the upskilling of existing and experienced drivers, helps promote our industry as one with professional tertiary qualifications and a career pathway for everyone.

This is a long game and over the next few months we will be focusing even more on leveraging off the large amount of good work already being undertaken by numerous operators and members across all our organisations, particularly those that have been doing their own recruiting, training, and staff development.

Road to success offers two options: The Driver Traineeship provides the pathway for new-to-industry drivers, as well as supporting those operators who are already training and developing new drivers, giving them the qualification framework to complement the training in-cab already being given. The Driver Boost programme provides an opportunity for more established drivers to gain a tertiary qualification and promotes continuous learning.

Having trained and skilled drivers on our roads has always been a focus for industry. Including tertiary qualifications, through the Road to success Qualification Pathway micro- credentials, to your current in-cab training programme, helps to promote the professional standard of our drivers and shows that there are career pathways with industry qualifications within your business. For any operators seeking new entrants we have 27 candidates ready and waiting to be introduced to operators. You can find the Te ara ki tua Road to success tertiary qualifications pathway here.

For further information, please call Fiona McDonagh, Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand, 027 471 4350, or email

‘Absolutely loving it’ New role a dream job for trainee

Mackenzie Lintern loves driving trucks. The 20-year-old Road to success graduate is currently contracted to Mackley Carriers in Auckland.

“I’m usually driving my little six-wheeler, so just a class 4, but when I get the chance, I will definitely go over to the eight-wheelers and I’m trying to get the guys to teach me truck and trailer, too. So, I just drive whatever I can on the day.”

Right now, Mackenzie is subcontracted, driving an eight-wheeler carrying parts for Metalcraft.

“I’ve been there for about a month and a half straight now. It changes every day, but I kinda normally show up at 6:30am, have a look at where they are planning for me to go – it will be the Langs beach area (near Whangārei); sometimes it will be south to Pukekohe, and I normally have between five to 10 deliveries a day.

“I’m absolutely loving it. You kind of do your own thing and on the east coast, you get to see some pretty cool places, especially when you get to go out by all the beaches.”

Mackenzie says she wasn’t really planning on becoming a truck driver. She grew up in Tauranga and the opportunity came up to drive class 1 trucks. “I started with Can Do, a three-week course in Auckland and from there was recommended to go on to Road to success.”

With the support of Mackleys and the Te ara ki tua Road to success programme, she went on to get the next licence – and the next. “When I finished that, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and I wondered if there was any more studying I could do. That’s when I went and did the next one. I’ve done my class 5, and I’ve done them all through work, my work paid for them.”

Mackenzie says she was blown away by the support she received from Mackleys. “Really, really supportive, absolutely amazing. I came into a class 2 role with pretty much no idea how to do anything. I’d only driven grocery deliveries, there was nothing about restraint or anything. I was straight into steel, so it was definitely something I had to spend a lot of time learning and the guys were looking out for me. It’s definitely a good company to start with, I reckon.”

She is also positive about the micro-credential learning experience, which is part of the Road to success training programme. Topics covered included how to drive combination vehicles, cornering techniques, restraint, fatigue, and the mechanics of trucks.

“Those were really good. I think doing my licenses so quickly, like one after another, and also doing the micro credentials, everything kind of lined up at a similar time. So, the stuff I was learning, it was just like going more in-depth than what you have to do on just your one or two-day course.”

Mackenzie is not about to sit still. She has enrolled in university studying business analytics after work in her spare time. Surely, she has a great future ahead of her in the road transport industry! We wish her all the best!