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!

Road to success graduates embark on rewarding career

We profile recent Road to success graduates enjoying their new careers in road transport.

Helene Jensen-Selkirk began with KAM Transport in February 2022 and less than 12 months later, has graduated from the traineeship programme. She has completed the four micro-credentials as part of her on-the-job training, and is set to obtain her class 5 licence and will continue her online learning.

Helene was the second trainee Paul Fincham, branch manager, Wellington, and general manager Bill Bamber at KAM, took on. She is a valued and respected member of the wider team, many of whom were on hand to congratulate and celebrate with Helene when she graduated.

KAM is committed to bringing new drivers into the business. The company’s fleet was class 4 and 5 so they purchased a class 2 truck when they engaged with Road to success and employed their first trainee (Nadine who graduated last year). KAM has just employed a third trainee – Francois has joined the team as a class 2 driver and began his traineeship last month.

KAM is also purchasing a class 1 truck to enable the company to start new drivers earlier and grow them within their business – growing the pipeline and ensuring they will have a class 2 driver when Francois is ready to move to class 4.

Paul Fincham is working with Francois and overseeing his training. He and Bill are strong supporters of the traineeship and giving new drivers the opportunity to grow and progress through KAM Transport.

KAM has two trainees in the company’s Hawke’s Bay site who are training and enrolled in the traineeship micro-credentials.

Driver Traineeship

Is 2023 the year you begin creating a sustainable pipeline of drivers into your business? We have people ready and waiting for their chance to begin a driving career and learn from the best – you!

Let us introduce you to someone who has the right attitude and motivation to train and work hard to achieve their goal of becoming a professional truck driver. No bad habits to unlearn, a passion for our industry, ready and willing to work hard to be the best they can be behind the wheel of your trucks – our candidates are ready to step up.

If you have an entry level role and are looking to bring someone new into your team, contact us and let us introduce you to some of the great people ready to begin their road to success journey in your business.

Award winners recognised for achievement

This year’s Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand Conference was the first since 2019, which also meant that it was the first time in three years that we held the Transporting New Zealand Industry Awards. I believe these awards are an important way for the trucking community to annually recognise best practice and outstanding achievement in our industry. They are about helping an industry that very rarely blows its own trumpet, to enjoy and promote its success.

The awards honour individuals and organisations whose activities and achievements ultimately improve the daily lives of others and ensure the industry is a rewarding and safe environment to work in.

The big award of the night, the VTNZ Supreme Contribution to NZ Road Transport, was some thing of a double hit for the winner, Neil Reid, as he also received the first ever life membership to Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand.

Winners of the inaugural Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand Industry Awards. From left: John Alexander, Hayley Alexander, Paul Hintz, the Alexander Group (EROAD Outstanding Contribution to Health and Safety Award); Neil Reid (VTNZ Supreme Contribution to NZ Road Transport and inaugural Life Member of Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand); Te ara ki tua Road to success graduate Nadine Rowan-Thomson, KAM Transport; Brianna Wilson, Philip Wareing Ltd (EROAD Young Driver of the Year – under 35); Josh Hart, Hart Haulage (Castrol Truck Driver Hero Award); and Road to success graduate Sheryl McGlashan, Brenics Transport. (Not present: Road to success graduates Hayden Cockburn, RTL, and Mark Closel, of NZ Express; and Jenny McIntyre, Waimea Contract Carriers (Teletrac Navman Outstanding Contribution by a Woman in the Road Transport Industry)

From Road Transport News, October 2022

Team work makes the dream work

Team work makes the dream work

Collaboration is a bit of a buzz word, bandied around all too frequently. But I want to tell you a story about genuine collaboration between our industry and government.

Yesterday, we launched our Te ara ki tua Road to success industry traineeship in Auckland. We were fortunate to be joined by Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and Transport and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood, who both spoke about how great it was to see the various parts of government they are responsible for coming together to get a traineeship off the ground in an industry they support and see value in.

This traineeship is about providing a career path for people who want to work in road freight transport – as drivers primarily – but also in the other skilled roles the industry offers. Truck driving is a challenging and varied job, with lots of skills required. The contribution a good truck driver makes to a business and to the wider New Zealand economy and wellbeing is immense, as we saw during the Covid-19 lockdowns as trucks kept rolling while most of us were safe at home.

There is often a view that young people need to change to fit something. We are taking the opposite view. The industry must change to fit the desires of a modern workforce. That means qualifications, structure, on-the-job training, and license progression, as we are very short of Class 5 drivers. The challenge is that many businesses don’t have anything other than Class 5 vehicles, so it is harder to train, but not impossible if people work together. I wish to emphasise that it is very much about the industry taking the lead and finding solutions to its own challenges.

But we have needed help to do that. We have known for a long time there was a truck driver shortage and with increased demand for road freight and an ageing workforce, we need to focus on training the next generations to come and keeping them engaged and excited about the industry.

Sometimes, when you go to the government for help, it can be a demoralising experience. But not in the case of this traineeship. We were able to work across different parts of government and get everyone on the same page and enthusiastic about the opportunities this traineeship will offer.

And we were able to do it in a year – the year that the world stood still to combat Covid-19.

The Tertiary Education Commission and MITO have enabled us to offer industry specific micro-credentials for trainees to get formal qualifications. Training is a mix of practical and theoretical components. MITO have also waived fees for the micro-credentials – which are completed on line – until 31 December 2021.

The industry partnerships team at the Ministry of Social Development (MSD)  have been hugely influential in assisting the RTF through this process, along with their Kiwi Can Do team who get people work-ready. We will continue working with MSD to place registered job seekers and those affected by Covid-19 job losses in traineeships with road transport operators.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency have shown a strong interest in the programme and support for our concept of training drivers to be better and safer on the road. That is a goal we share.

On the other side, we need industry to take up what we are offering them – motivated workers keen to get out there on the road and keep delivering for New Zealand.

Showing tremendous leadership, Chris Carr and the Carr & Haslam team are in step with us. They have taken on three trainees via MSD – all who went through the Kiwi Can Do programme.  Betty Heremaia Sola, Liana Manu and Shaun Tomai are able to work and earn money while they go about their training, and they are already valued by Carr & Haslam.

Carr & Haslam hosted the launch event yesterday with Ministers, government officials, industry and media all attending, and as the final speaker, Chris Carr threw down the gauntlet to other transport operators to follow his example.

– Nick Leggett, CEO, Road Transport Forum