Freight and Logistics open gamut of opportunities

4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 16, 2018

The Freight and Logistics stand at the Canvas Expo was a busy site. Is there an awakening about what a great industry we‘re all in?

Freight and Logistics‘ presence at the Canvas Career Expo in Tauranga gave school groups and the public the opportunity to experience first-hand how it feels to sit in the cab of a big truck.

“It‘s about giving them a tactile experience, especially for girls. Girls don‘t naturally see themselves in the cab so where we can get a girl into the cab it changes things,” says Steve Divers, director of Career Pathways – Road Freight Transport.

Those who are identified as having a real interest in trucks are given a yellow band. This allows them into the restricted area where they can jump into the cab of a truck and be taken for a ride, and, under supervision, can drive the truck.

Road Freight Transport is part of the Sector Workforce Engagement Programme (SWEP) and partially funded by National Road Carriers, Road Transport Association and NZ Trucking Association.

“It‘s about a combined approach to recruitment training and trying to sort out the driver shortage issue; this is the first time ever that these three associations have got together for a common purpose of this magnitude,” says Divers.

“We have developed some tools and it is now for industry to pick these things up. Toi Ohomai [Institute of Technology] is a perfect example of that.”

New initiatives throughout the country include a new programme at Ara Institute of Canterbury in Timaru that is supported by a cluster group of operators, and a new programme at Manukau Institute of Technology.

“These initiatives need the support of the industry to be sustainable. It‘s essential for industry to be involved in training.”

Dayna Callender intends making a rig of this size her charge one day.

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology has in place a drivers‘ cadetship that gives young people with an interest in the industry a foot in the door.

Dayna Callender, who completed a 19-week course with Toi Ohomai, is now in the cadetship with Priority Logistics, driving a class 2 truck. She also spends one day a month working with Tranzliquid who only own larger trucks, to get indoctrinated into the culture and help her get where she wants to be.

Adrian Bowen, group manager at Logistics Training Centre at Toi Ohomai, says it‘s about companies working together to get her to where she wants to go.

“They are learning on the job, they are taking what we have done in the block course and then they have to apply that. We need to have evidence around that; they take photos, get verification and sign off. It is tracked all the way through.”

David Rogers, winner of the Young Driver of the Year category in the National Driver Competition 2017, was on hand to take Dayna for a spin in a Tranzliquid truck, all the while talking through how a class 5 truck handles, what to look out for on the road and how best to manoeuvre a truck of that size.