A new year brings new opportunities and a renewed energy to tackle seemingly enormous tasks, like solving the country’s truck driver shortage.

After a much-needed break to rest and recharge from an extremely challenging 2021, the Te ara ki tua Road to success team is well and truly back on deck and ready to go.

Our current trainees are making a good first of achieving the goals set for them at the beginning of their road transport journey in 2021. Many of them are starting the year at a new licence level and are moving on to bigger vehicles. A number have already completed and passed their micro-credential qualifications, which is awesome to see, and the best bit is they are all still loving what they are doing to keep our country running.

After working hard to engage and match motivated operators and eager trainees in the Road to success traineeship throughout last year, as well as manage the challenges of lockdowns, we’re now beginning to look at how we could make the traineeship better. Establishing a ‘meat-on-the-bones’ training guide and continuing to support operators keen to recruit and train new drivers is top of the list for 2022.

After a successful workshop with a number of industry experts in training and operations late last year, we have developed the basis for a more detailed training programme. By paring things back and looking at the essential skills needed to bring a new entrant driver up to the standards of a professional Class 5 operator, we better understand the steps needed to ensure quality training is given across the industry. The end result, we hope, will be a programme that provides operators with an even more sustainable and structured programme to train new drivers.

New ideas on how to engage and keep your teams involved in the journey of a trainee will be key to the continued development of this programme and ensure it remains fit for purpose and easy to adopt in all transport operations.

At the end of 2021, Road to success asked operators who have a trainee working through the programme to take part in a survey. We wanted to know what was working well and what was not, what we could improve on, how they found the placement process, what barriers they faced getting training off the ground and what additional support we could give to them. Feedback such as this is critical in helping us understand how to do things better, what extra support operators need, and what needs to be done to make the programme suitable for all transport businesses.

We also surveyed our current trainees to make sure the programme was meeting their expectations and find out what we could improve from their end. That feedback ensures we can continue to provide a modern, attractive programme and supply a continuous stream of new trainees for the industry.

I am looking forward to the year ahead meeting more great people who are excited about trying out for a career behind the wheel. Promotion of our industry as a career option will be a growing feature of what we do in and, of course, we will continue to work hard to place our trainees with appropriate operators and kick start their career in transport.

From Deals on Wheels / Feb 2022 #347