Workplace training essential for transport industry

In July 2023, Promotional4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 18, 2023

Training and upskilling staff can be expensive and time consuming for many transport operators. But without it, the transport industry risks losing thousands of valuable employees to other industries and lucrative overseas roles.

Undertrained operators of freight vehicles can lead to a myriad of problems for business owners. Not only do drivers with inadequate training drive less fuel-efficiently, they drive less safely and have a higher level of involvement in traffic accidents.

Transport is undergoing significant change. In order to stay ahead of the curve, the industry needs to ensure it has an appropriately skilled workforce.

The Nelson branch of freight and warehousing specialists MOVe Logistics has teamed up with industry training experts MITO-Te Pūkenga to facilitate the training and upskilling of its staff and embed MITO’s micro-credentials into its operation.

MOVe’s driver trainer Peter Harwood is completing the Level 3 CRT – Heavy Vehicle Operator programme, which will see him approved as a MITO workplace assessor, enabling him to train other staff.

Nick Max, Nelson branch manager at MOVe, says having Peter qualified as a workplace assessor means the company has a low cost and flexible model to assess drivers achieving the L3 qualification and overseeing micro enrolments.

“Education and training helps develop the essential building blocks to begin and or continue to grow and develop us into better operators, not only for our business but industry as a whole,” he says.

“It allows us as a business, and Peter as our trainer, to ensure the team we are training get the correct level of information and skills that we want and need from our people.

“We can spend more time in certain areas of training as we see fit to ensure we are comfortable with the individuals.

“Once the training is complete, we can hold our head high knowing that we did everything we could to give our team the best possible opportunity to excel in their roles.”

Peter got involved with driver development about five years ago after coming off the road as a longhaul driver.

He says he enjoys passing on the knowledge to young or new drivers that he was lucky enough to learn from many in the industry over his career.

“When you’re seeing young or new drivers progress and upskill themselves, it’s really rewarding,” Peter says.

“And it’s great to have such support from so many people at MOVe, such as Steve Smith, MOVe’s Blenheim branch manager, who has been a huge driver and supporter of the programme from the outset.”

Completing the programme has been a learning curve for Peter himself.

“I’ve been able to upskill myself throughout this process. I’ve been involved in the industry for a long time. I left school when I was 15, I did my first national certificate way back in 2001. So it’s a great opportunity to refresh your memory and learn what’s new or different.”

Peter says training staff is essential to attract new players.

“Getting young people into the industry and retaining them is really hard. Having these types of qualifications gives them something to work towards.”