Old goal for industry qualifications

This year could be when your business begins creating a sustainable pipeline of drivers to help carry the load into the future. Despite the tight labour market, plenty of people are willing and waiting for a chance to start a career in the road transport sector. Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand and our industry partners, National Road Carriers and the NZ Trucking Association, have a programme to help match your business with the right people.

Te ara ki tua Road to success provides a career pathway for people who want to become truck drivers and a traineeship programme for transport operators to upskill their staff. It also aims to increase the number of people within our industry who have specific industry qualifications.

Late last year, Road to success set itself “the big hairy audacious goal” of 1000 enrolments in tertiary qualifications by the end of 2023. This is ambitious, but it needs to be if we are to ensure a sustainable workforce for the future.

Road to success offers two options when it comes to gaining tertiary qualifications. First, is the traineeship, which provides the pathway for new drivers and helps progress them from class 2 to 5. This also supports operators already developing new drivers, giving them the qualification framework to complement the in-cab training already being provided. The second option is called Driver Boost, which provides an opportunity for more established class 4 and 5 drivers to gain NZQA-approved tertiary qualifications and advance their careers while staying in the industry.

The four micro-credential qualifications provided through Road to success are: Introduction to Commercial Road Transport; Commercial Road Transport – Heavy Combination Vehicle Loading Fundamentals; Commercial Road Transport – Driver Safety; and Commercial Road Transport – Mass and Dimensions.

Those who want to take their learning further can then go on and do the New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport Skills (Level 3) or the New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (Heavy Vehicle Operator) (Level 3).

Fiona McDonagh is our Te ara ki tua Road to success manager. She has described the vision for the programme as it relates to other industry schemes: “The sooner we get this tertiary qualification pathway commonly recognised as the go-to path that truck drivers take as a matter of course – which is not too dissimilar to the approach taken in other sectors with apprenticeships – the more our sector will benefit in the long run.”

We really want to thank the operators who have supported and promoted Road to success so far. The leadership they have shown and the value they are getting from the programme is how we can set ambitious goals like 1000 enrolments by the end of the year.

We know for some operators that cost and limited training capacity remain a challenge, particularly as business expenses escalate and margins tighten. Transporting New Zealand is working with the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment to provide even more support to cover these costs and further open up the migrant driver pipeline.

It is important, though, to remember that no matter the economic conditions, we must continue providing the conditions and career pathways to attract and retain people in our industry.

A prospective trainee needs a foot in the door and a wee bit of an investment; then they could become the backbone of your business for many years to come. Likewise, experienced drivers may be looking for professional development and continuous learning opportunities that can one day provide them with the skills for industry roles outside the cab.

So, if you have an entry-level role and are looking to recruit, please get in contact with the Road to success team. We currently have 20 candidates ready to take on new roles in the industry and a pipeline of interested participants going through the screening process. Likewise, if you are interested in the ongoing development of your more experienced drivers through the Driver Boost programme, flick an email to success@transporting.nz or visit roadtosuccess.nz