Comment: Positive attitude the key for industry trainees

By: Fiona McDonagh, Te ara ki tua Road to success project co-ordinator

The Road to success traineeship provides a career path for people who want to become a truck driver

An opportunity to work and learn while progressing through the licence classes is a big drawcard for trainees

I’m excited to hear so many positive stories about the Te ara ki tua Road to success programme, and I believe it will make a real difference to overcoming the ongoing driver shortage in New Zealand.

We’ve all heard about trucks being parked up because of the lack of experienced drivers, and we know, if something isn’t done about it, the situation is only going to get worse. The time has come for everyone associated with the industry to become involved in recruiting to ensure a steady stream of new drivers rise through the ranks.

Truck drivers play a valuable role in keeping New Zealand moving. Through natural disasters and pandemics, truck drivers keep delivering essential supplies such as food and medicines. People depend on truck drivers; after all, they deliver 93% of all goods moved around New Zealand every day.

I often hear of people who want to become truck drivers but have no idea how to get into the industry. Or they have a Class 2 licence but all the jobs they want to apply for require drivers with extensive experience. The Road to success traineeship provides a career path for people who want to become a truck driver, matching them with a suitable transport business that will employ them.

During the programme, trainees will have a hands-on approach to learning, receive a liveable wage, get nationally recognised qualifications, and have the opportunity to progress through the licence classes. The traineeship and the Road to success team’s involvement will last one year, after which it’s expected the trainee will continue on at the company they have been working for.

All trainees I’ve met have a positive attitude to learning and a career in the transport industry. I’ve been impressed with their work ethic and just know they will be great ambassadors for our industry into the future.

Hayden Cockburn from Milton heard about the programme though his work as a trainee driver at Road Transport Logistics. He says he thought it would be a good chance to gain more knowledge in the industry.

He had a full Class 1 licence when he started at RTL in Otago last September and says he has always wanted to be a truck driver. He’s being taught to drive a range of vehicles, sometimes on stock and sometimes on bulk cartage.

"I’m really interested in the bulk/general cartage, and it’s been providing me with a lot of variety," he says. Hayden has completed his first four micro-credentials and says the information he has learned will become a valuable resource.

"My family and friends liked the idea of me doing the programme, and it’s been good talking with them about some of the micro-credential questions. I enjoyed doing them because it taught me a lot about being a truck driver."

Hayden’s advice for anyone signing up for the Road to success programme is to ensure they enjoy it. The Road to success website is up and running and all the information about the traineeship is there, including how to become a trainee driver, along with more profiles of people talking about why they love being in the trucking industry. If you’re an employer keen to take on a trainee, you can learn more about what is involved and apply online.

Find out all about it at 

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