Various trucking firms in New Zealand have reported difficulties in finding qualified drivers this year and have resorted to urgent action to address the problem. Some companies have even had to lay up some of their fleet until sufficient drivers can be recruited.
The problem has been longstanding and the reasons are many but the ageing workforce has been a significant contributing factor. It was reported in the media earlier this year that drivers are now being recruited overseas from places like Fiji and India to make up the short fall.
Training drivers from a normal car license to a Class 5 Heavy truck licence can take three years so the process for local candidates can be a long one. To meet the demand and in conjunction with the local transport industry, Southern Institute of Technology has just introduced a course for new trainee drivers.
The first course to be offered will be the 16 week Certificate in Commercial Road Transport, which was originally developed by Bay of Plenty Polytechnic. As well as getting started on their truck licences, students will also do a large chunk of work experience to help them gain skills and connections in the transport industry.
Some have speculated that the introduction of new "driverless" technology could overcome the problem, however due to the specialised nature of most trucking operations, this may only have some limited effect within the industry.
Please contact us or visit our Careers section if you are qualified and interested in a career with Redman Hiab.