RTF welcomes Labour‘s driving skills commitment

1 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 17, 2017

Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley has welcomed the Labour Party‘s commitment to provide driving lessons for secondary school students.

“The lack of driver licences amongst young people is a really big issue for our industry,” says Shirley. “There simply are not enough young people coming through to drive the trucks needed to help grow the economy.”

Shirley said a major impediment for school leavers looking to get into the transport industry was that a growing number of them didn‘t even have a class 1 (car) driver‘s licence.

“It is a very serious issue right across the economy, not just in road transport. A recent NZIER report showed only 10% of 18 to 24-year-olds on jobseeker support had a full licence and nearly half had no licence at all.”

Shirley said while going from a car licence to a class 5 heavy combination vehicle licence was a big step, it was nevertheless critical that school leavers were taught the basic road skills to set them along that path.

“I also invite Labour to commit to streamlining the unwieldy graduated licencing system, which successive governments have failed to address,” says Shirley.