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Truck driver traineeship launched

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Today, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and Transport and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood joined the Road Transport Forum to launch a traineeship dedicated to the road transport industry - Te ara ki tua Road to success.

“On the back of research that we conducted last year, trucking operators clearly identified a shortage of drivers being a problem for their businesses,” Road Transport Forum (RTF) chief executive Nick Leggett says.

“We believe in industry solving its own problems where possible, so we decided the time was right for a dedicated truck driver traineeship, run by the RTF for the industry we represent.

“Trucking has an ageing workforce and we want to bring a new and diverse range of people into the road freight transport industry. We want trainees to be clear on a career path and to be rewarded for their successes.

“We believe that over time, this training will ensure a higher skilled and safer workforce, leading to safer roads.”

Training is a mix of practical and theoretical components, designed to lead directly to qualifications relevant to the industry. These are in the form of micro-credential qualifications completed online and delivered through MITO.

“This traineeship allows people to work and earn money while they go about their training,” Leggett says.

The traineeship has its own branding and website and has two staff members administering it on behalf of employers and trainees, employed by the RTF, Trainees are on the programme for one year, after which it is expected the trainee will continue on at the company they trained with.

“Getting the programme off the ground in the quick timeframe of a year would not have been possible without government assistance and backing,” Leggett says. “In particular, the Tertiary Education Commission and MITO have come to the party in getting the micro-credentials available and waiving fees until 31 December 2021.

“RTF is also working with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) on placing registered job seekers and those affected by Covid-19 with road transport operators. In fact, we are holding the launch event at Carr & Haslam in Auckland which has employed three Te ara ki tua Road to success trainees via MSD’s Kiwi Can Do programme.”

Chris Carr, from Carr & Haslam, says road transport is an essential service in New Zealand, “and it is essential that we attract good people to deliver the goods we all need”. 

“Even in these early days of the traineeship we have had three keen and motivated drivers join us,” Carr says. “It is a new way of doing something about our driver shortage that we should have done years ago and I commend the RTF for establishing this traineeship.”

About Road Transport Forum New Zealand (RTF)

RTF provides unified national representation for several regional trucking associations. RTF members include Road Transport Association NZ, National Road Carriers, and NZ Trucking Association.  The affiliated representation of the RTF is about 3,000 individual road transport companies which in turn, operate 16-18,000 trucks involved in road freight transport, as well as companies that provide services allied to road freight transport. 

The road freight transport industry employs 32,868 people (2.0% of the workforce), has a gross annual turnover of $6 billion, and transports 93% of the total tonnes of freight moved in New Zealand.