Eight newly-licenced women truck drivers will be working to shift freight and the gender balance in the logistics industry when they graduate today from an inaugural women-only driver training program.
A collaborative initiative run by Linfox, Australia Post, Volvo, Wodonga Tafe and Transport Women Australia, the course aims to remove the roadblocks that make it harder for women to enter the heavy vehicle industry.
The demand for skilled drivers is increasing and the four-week training program was established to address the recruitment and skill needs within the industry.
The program equips drivers with the knowledge and skills to safely drive a heavy rigid truck and they now have the opportunity to join the iconic Linfox and Australia Post truck fleets.
Australia relies heavily on its fleet of trucks, and domestic freight is forecast to grow by 26 per cent in the next 10 years. Despite this, drivers are in short supply and high demand.
The average age of a truck driver is 47 and with an ageing workforce, it is estimated that recruitment may need to increase by 150 per cent to offset retirement and meet growing demand.
“If fifty-one per cent of the Australian population don’t consider driving a truck as a career option, then we need to change that,” said Sondra Kremerskothen, Linfox Group Manager Training.
“We talk about change a lot in logistics and this is what it looks like. By removing the roadblocks that currently prevent talented people from joining the industry, we can ensure our industry continues to meet increasing consumer demand,” she said.
“While this first stage is focused on women, future programs will work to address the needs of other demographics who, despite interest, may be unsure of the steps required or may experience challenges pursuing a career within the industry.”
Australia Post is Australia’s most trusted delivery partner and delivers to more than 11.9 million delivery points in Australia and more than 190 countries around the world.
James Dixon, General Manager Transport & Aviation, Australia Post said “We are proud of our world-class fleet and the important role our drivers play in delivering for our communities every day. We are investing to grow our workforce of skilled and talented drivers – and to increase female representation – to ensure we can serve our customers better and continue to meet community needs, now and into the future.
“We value diversity and appreciate the benefits an inclusive workplace brings to our customers, our business, and most importantly, our people. We look forward to welcoming these talented new recruits, and many more, into our team,” he said.