Comment: Ministers launch industry traineeship

By: Nick Leggett, Road Transport CEO

Chris Carr Carr & Haslam managing director Chris Carr discusses why he has already taken on three Road to success trainees Chris Carr
Sepuloni Social development and employment minister Carmel Seuploni with RTF’s Nick Leggett and three Road to success trainees Sepuloni
Wood Transport Minister Michael Wood and trainee Betty Heremaia Sola Wood

RTF formally launched the Te ara ki tua Road to success traineeship

At the end of April, the Road Transport Forum, together with social development and employment minister Carmel Sepuloni and transport and workplace relations and safety minister Michael Wood formally launched the Te ara ki tua Road to success traineeship dedicated to providing opportunities for new people keen to join the road transport industry.

As coordinator of the Road to success programme, I feel the best training for truck drivers will come from within. By doing the job, trainees can dip their toes in the water while learning the skills they will need for a long-term career in the industry. This why it’s so important for operators to take part in the programme.

The support Road to success wraps around both operators and trainees ensures that they both get the most out of the traineeship and, ultimately, an operator gains a qualified, skilled, professional driver.

The knowledge of experienced drivers within a transport company is a key component of training new drivers, and we need to look at better ways to share that with those entering the industry—Road to success is one of the ways we can do that.

Training is a mix of practical and theoretical components, designed to lead directly to qualifications relevant to the industry. These are in the form of micro-credential qualifications completed online and delivered through MITO.

Trainees are on the programme for a year and earn money while they are training, and it’s expected they will continue on at the company they trained with. "We believe in industry solving its own problems where possible, so we decided the time was right for a dedicated truck driver traineeship, run by the RTF for the industry we represent," says RTF chief executive Nick Leggett.

"Trucking has an ageing workforce, and we want to bring a new and diverse range of people into the road freight transport industry. We want trainees to be clear on a career path and to be rewarded for their successes.

"We believe that over time, this training will ensure a higher skilled and safer workforce, leading to safer roads." Carr & Haslam managing director Chris Carr says road transport is an essential service in New Zealand, and it’s essential it attracted good people to the industry.

"Even in these early days of the traineeship, we’ve had three keen and motivated drivers join us," Carr says. "It’s a new way of doing something about our driver shortage that we should have done years ago, and I commend the RTF for establishing this traineeship." 

More information on Te ara ki tua Road to success and how prospective trainees and operators can join the programme is available at

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