TAFE Supports Women in the Transport Industry
Wednesday, 1 May 2019
Women in Transport – Making the Change
Wodonga TAFE in force with Transport Women Australia Limited (TWAL), Volvo Australia, Australia Post and Linfox, have just finished the third iteration of the Women Driving Transport Careers (WDTC) program.
This course is designed to help women obtain a heavy vehicle driver license and is offered through Wodonga TAFE’s Transport and Logistics Department, DECA.
This was the second group of women from Australia Post and Linfox that have successfully completed the course, with over 200 women applying for the seven positions available.
Wodonga TAFE send trainers down to Melbourne for the four-week training period, during which, the students cover the following industry specific skills (plus many more):
- Mechanical appreciation
- Load restraint
- On road coaching
- Either Heavy Rigid or Heavy Combination licence based on previous experience
- Learn to complete a work diary
- Apply fatigue management strategies
The WDTC program aims to create a pathway for new entrants into the transport industry, whilst ensuring that drivers have the relevant industry appropriate skills and experience required by employers. With the mission being to strengthen communities and industries through accessible and innovative learning, it offers women the chance to get behind the wheel of prime movers and work towards joining the heavy transport workforce as truck drivers. There is a particular demand for heavy transport truck drivers throughout Australia.
Of the most recent cohort of students were Linfox drivers who all completed their Heavy Combination Licence. While three staff from Australia Post completed their Heavy Rigid Licence. Beginning in June this year there will be another course start, in partnership with Mainfreight Australia, with eight of their female staff members to be entered into the program.
While down in Melbourne teaching the Australia Post & Linfox trainees, Program Trainer Alex Stojanovic caught up with previous students from a course he taught in the previous year for Hanson and Alex Fraser.
“It was so heartening and absolutely amazing to see all the seven of my previous students were still employed by both Hanson and Alex Fraser.”
“These amazing women have all come so far, I actually became the student during dinner as they taught me all about agitator trucks.”
Volvo Group Australia president and CEO Peter Voorhoeve says the company is working hard to attract new and more diverse talent into the heavy transport sector.
"Australia is standing on the precipice of a serious truck driver shortage, the effects of which will be felt far beyond the transport industry," Voorhoeve says.
"If the industry does not find ways to attract more drivers to the industry, we will all feel the pain in higher prices for the things that trucks move up and down our highways – food, clothing, construction materials, medical supplies and consumer goods to name just a few.
"As the leading manufacturer of trucks in Australia, we take our role in the industry seriously, which is why we are constantly looking for new ways to grow the heavy transport sector workforce and champion greater diversity in the driver workforce."
Wodonga TAFE are proud to be a part of the driving force to changing the perceived gender expectation with the heavy transport industry. Finding pathways into the heavy transport industry is not always a simple task and Wodonga TAFE are proud to be part of the force behind making this training accessible for women who are wanting to get into the industry.
We have a range of opportunities available for those looking at entering the transport industry, please visit our website at https://www.wodongatafe.edu.au/Courses/Transport-DECA or call 1300 698 233 to find out more!