Te Ara Ki Tua Road to success - Qualification Pathway, Driver Boost

While we know the importance of investing in the training of new drivers, we also know that recognition of the skills and abilities of experienced drivers is important too. The Road to success Qualification Pathway, Driver Boost is a way to provide this recognition for your drivers.

The industry tertiary qualifications, developed by MITO with industry and delivered online, provide the chance to upskill and complete the theory knowledge of our class 4 and 5 drivers, particularly those new in those levels. Being able to include this as a personal development opportunity within your business, confirms your investment in the ongoing professional standard of your drivers and in their own personal growth and goals. While we know that many drivers see their class 5 licence as recognition of their ability on its own, we also know that others would welcome the opportunity to have an industry recognised qualification to support that.

Being able to promote ongoing training and industry qualifications in your recruitment campaigns will attract applications from a wider group of people who are looking to work for a company that invests in their people, at all levels, and shows your commitment to have skilled and qualified people behind the wheel of your fleet.

The micro credentials that make up the qualification pathway programmes are studied online and are made up of units covering topics that all drivers will be able to relate to – knowledge gained through on the road experience. We know that many are fearful or wary of further study and often won’t have the best memories of school, however, knowing the subject matter and being able to draw on their industry experience, gives confidence that earning these qualifications is something that all can achieve.

Working with Booth’s Logistics over the past few weeks and seeing how they are approaching the inclusion of the qualification pathway into their training and development programmes has been great. They have offered this programme to a group of class 5 drivers who have the chance to be the first to go through Driver Boost in their company and in turn, be champions of the programme to their peers within the business. Road Transport Logistics have also used a group approach bringing learners together to work online and support each other. Other companies such as Tranzliquid, NZ Express, Wareing Group, Mainstream Freight and Alexander Group all have drivers enrolled in Boost and working through the micros. They support the programme and the use of these qualifications to upskill and fill gaps in their drivers knowledge and the benefit of offering this chance to their team.

We will be sharing the stories of the drivers who are working through the qualifications and celebrating their achievements along the way. While industry tertiary qualifications are not something that truck drivers have traditionally taken on, we believe that those entering the industry over the coming years, both as trainees and fully licenced drivers, will be looking for more than just the class of licence to show their professional approach to their work. We are looking forward to growing the number of Driver Boost Graduates and to promoting industry tertiary qualifications as a way of identifying professional drivers in the future.

If you would like to know more about the Qualification Pathway and how it can be introduced into your training and development plan, please get in touch – success@transporting.nz

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 success@transporting.nz.

‘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!

Hayley Alexander

Hayley Alexander
CEO, Alexander Group

If we describe Diversity Champion Hayley Alexander in one word, it should be ‘progressive’. CEO of Alexander Group, a family-owned business with a diverse workforce, Hayley focuses on putting thoughts into action and putting people first. She is also a member of Global Women, an organisation whose mission is promoting diversity. To her colleagues, she is an influential leader who simply sees each person for what they bring to the table and who they could potentially become. Seeing past traditional biases like race, gender and level of education, Hayley treats everyone with the same respect and attention. She thinks that breaking down barriers to diversity not only helps the transport industry meet capacity demand, but also provides fresh perspectives that can be key to addressing current challenges.

Jacqueline Smith

Jacqueline Smith
Managing Director/Co-owner, Renwick Transport

Nurturing diversity can open the door to happiness at work. When employees feel they are understood, valued and embraced, they naturally feel happier. Running a diverse transport company is what Jacqueline Smith enjoys most about her work. At Renwick Transport, whether it be age, gender or work variation, every day is a chance for everyone to learn new things and strive to do better together. Jacqueline sees diversity as moving with the times and being open to embracing change. She also believes in challenging the ‘just a truck driver’ mindset, since they are qualified professional drivers with great responsibility, and should be treated with respect and dignity. Joining the programme, Jacqueline is looking forward to being a part of a larger network, which allows her to develop more ideas of how to promote diversity at work.

Jodi McNamara

Jodi McNamara
Driver Trainer, H.W. Richardson Group

Our Champion Jodi McNamara, driver trainer at H.W. Richardson Group, has a real passion for building the future of transport. For her, there are very few things more inspiring than meeting likeminded people with the ambition and drive to make a real change in their chosen field. Following the two-day Road to Success Driving Change Diversity Programme held in Wellington, she walked away feeling inspired and excited about what they could contribute to the future of the industry as a group. She appreciates that the participants have the opportunities to do something tangible, and how the programme lays a solid groundwork for bringing real change to an already strong industry.

Chelly Balasbas

Chelly Balasbas
HR Manager, Allied and Holcim Concrete

HR professionals have a unique role in creating and empowering a diverse workforce as they can provide leaders an aerial view of new sources of talent. For Chelly Balasbas, our Diversity Champion who is HR Manager at Allied and Holcim Concrete, there is a lot more to diversity than surface differences in any organisation. Diversity means accepting, valuing and giving equitable treatment to people regardless of their social class, beliefs, cultures, age and gender. She is mindful of her own unconscious biases, and has a flexible, collaborative approach to ensure that she responds well to different cultural norms. Chelly believes that diversity and inclusion shouldn’t be just a superficial marketing tool, but an authentic priority for transport companies. We’re beyond excited to have a HR manager joining the programme this year, and we can’t wait to see how Chelly will develop professionally with us.

Brianna Wilson

Brianna Wilson
Class 5 driver, Philip Wareing

Diversity and inclusion are key to tackling labour shortages, but what can transport companies do to properly encourage fresh talents and equal career opportunities? Meet Brianna Wilson, Class 5 driver at Philip Wareing Ltd, one of our Diversity Champions this year. Knowing that she is in the minority in an environment that sometimes can seem like a ‘big boys’ club’, she is interested in talking to young people, especially young women, about how they can get a foot in the door. Starting as an apprentice driver, she never shies away from challenging work, like bobby calf lifting, and simply delivers with a polite, cheerful and positive attitude. Brianna strongly believes in equal opportunities, as she knows that women can work well in the transport industry.

Mickayla Kerr

Mickayla Kerr
CEO, Heagney Bros

Great leaders can be role models for embracing diversity as they lead by example, initiating practices to attract people from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. As the CEO of Heagney Bros, Diversity Champion Mickayla Kerr understands how important leadership is in cultivating a diverse workplace. Running a family-owned transport company in a male-dominated environment, Mickayla is always ready to stand up for what is right and what could be better. She works hard to bring out the best in every driver, whether it’s supporting female applicants in obtaining Class 5 licences, giving people with physical limitations career opportunities or providing school hours to working parents. In her 15 years in the military, she was one of the first females to lead within the combat arms, and was actively involved in recruiting female soldiers into the artillery. Mickayla deeply appreciates diversity at work – for her it’s about bringing together a team that everyone can contribute in their own ways and offer different perspectives.

Marthe Lutu

Marthe Lutu
Health and Safety Advisor, Alexander Group

There is a wide range of key risk factors within the transport industry, from business and industry practices to fatigue and other road users. At Alexander Group, a company which demands a high level of compliance and risk assessment, Health and Safety Advisor Marthe Lutu knows how to get key safety messages across to a wide range of people. A high-performing team member who works hard to continuously improve the company’s H&S performance, Marthe is a role model to lots of people. Marthe moved to New Zealand from Samoa at 12, and is also a champion for her culture and gender. Joining the Te ara ki tua Road to success Driving Change Diversity Programme, Marthe strongly believes in breaking down culture, age, and gender barriers to establish a supportive work culture welcoming people from all backgrounds.