Transport sector needs to get ready for training and development

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 14, 2021

The Road Transport Forum is urging employers in the transport sector to be ready for training and development as the sector adjusts to a world post-Covid-19.

It comes as the forum celebrates numerous transport businesses signing up to its Te ara ki tua Road to success traineeship that launched in April.

“If we are looking for an upside of the virus that has crippled the world for a year and a half, it is that employers have become much more aware of the health and hopes of their employees,” RTF chief executive Nick Leggett said.

“Some employers have adjusted well, while others are trying to fight the tide and go back to the way things were.”

Leggett said it is “pretty clear” things will never go back to the way they were, particularly on the employment front.

“New Zealand has a chronic shortage of workers due to our indefinitely closed border and aggressive immigration settings,” he said.

Since launching in April this year, 36 transport businesses have signed up to the traineeship and are either already working with their trainee(s) or awaiting an appropriate match. It has had 184 applicants sign up to become a trainee.

“The RTF is doing all we can to get new people into the road freight transport industry and there is a lot of interest in the Te ara ki tua Road to success traineeship from both employers and potential trainees,” Leggett said.

Legget said with the employment rate at 4.7%, there were no new people coming into the market, and younger people entering the job market were “voting with their feet”.

“Employers need to change quickly if they don’t want their businesses to suddenly be crippled by a shortage of workers,” he said.

“To take on trainees to ensure sustainability of their workforce, they need to have some basics in place.

“We need employers to be business ready for a trainee and we guarantee a few changes to accommodate new staff will be worth it in the long term.”