ROAD TRANSPORT FORUM – Roadshow for Road to Success traineeship

4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 4, 2020

Operators all over the country know just what a challenge we face when it comes to finding the drivers and staff to deal with the future workforce demands of our industry. RTF, with the backing of an industry governance group and in partnership with government, has created a traineeship programme, Te ara ki tua Road to Success, that meshes together on-the-job practical training with theoretical components, leading to qualifications and employment in road transport. We believe this will assist people to get into our industry, stay in the industry, and provide operators with the support to take on new, inexperienced staff. Road to Success was born out of an RTF-run survey of more than 600 road transport operators, and while the timing was less than ideal, having begun just before the initial Covid-19 lockdown, it was really important that we got a wide range of views from across the sector.

The results demonstrated the extent of our workforce shortages and have helped focus our thinking around the potential benefits of a traineeship programme. It was also very encouraging that a high proportion of the survey‘s respondents declared an interest in participating in such a programme. The objective for Road to Success is for it to be flexible and relevant to the variety of career pathways employees may seek to follow in our industry. This includes having multiple entry and exit points and an emphasis on qualifications and training. The government is currently offering a free fees scheme for road transport qualifications and that aligns with the goals of Road to Success.

Qualifications are important to provide those in the industry with a sustainable career pathway and make the industry more appealing to those who want a change in career or are just starting out in their professional life. Microcredentials, which are a formal way of recognising skills and knowledge in a particular area and are endorsed by NZQA, are currently being developed to enhance employee prospects, provide a bridge to existing industry qualifications, and create transferable skills. Road to Success also seeks to leverage off the accelerated licensing principles so drivers may move through licence classes faster. It is very important, from my point of view, that Road to Success is industry-led. Partnering with government is all well and good, but it does not automatically guarantee success. That will only be achieved when operators open their doors to new workers and invest in the career development, training and qualifications that will support New Zealanders to retrain into our industry.

The training itself will be mostly facilitated in the workplace, with approved company assessors providing practical training, overseeing online theory learning, and setting training standards. Importantly, trainees will be guaranteed a minimum of 40 hours per week of work at or above the living wage. In October 2020 Road to Success representative Graham Sheldrake and RTF‘s Mark Ngatuere will be conducting a roadshow to present and get feedback on the design of the programme from operators. A schedule of these workshops, including venues, dates and times, is available at www.rtfnz.co.nz/road-to-success-roadshow. Each workshop will last for about one hour with Q&A time after. Please register your interest at success@rtf.nz with ‘Road to Success roadshow‘ in the subject line. For more information please contact Mark at mark@rtf.nz. With the constantly evolving Covid-19 situation, arrangements are subject to change, so continue to check the webpage for the most up-todate information.