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Women Truckies in Training

Women Truckies in Training

NZ Truck & Driver News

 August 2018   
Women are coming to the fore in truck driver graduate courses being offered by tertiary education institutes.

Eight new female truck drivers have graduated from Tauranga's Toi Ohomai with a New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport, Heavy Vehicle Transport Operator.

The women represented half of the graduates from the 19-week course – the highest level of female participation the course has ever had.

Meantime, a Commercial Road Transport (CRT) course at the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) – another part of the effort to ease the truck driver shortage – has also attracted a "significant" number of female students, according to the National Road Carriers Association.

NRC is encouraging its members to work on attracting under-25s to the industry – supporting the CRT courses at Toi Ohomai, North Tec in Whangarei, the Eastern Institute of Technology in Gisborne, Whitireia Polytech in Porirua and the Southern Institute of Technology (SI...

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Women are coming to the fore in truck driver graduate courses being offered by tertiary education institutes.

Eight new female truck drivers have graduated from Tauranga's Toi Ohomai with a New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport, Heavy Vehicle Transport Operator.

The women represented half of the graduates from the 19-week course – the highest level of female participation the course has ever had.

Meantime, a Commercial Road Transport (CRT) course at the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) – another part of the effort to ease the truck driver shortage – has also attracted a "significant" number of female students, according to the National Road Carriers Association.

NRC is encouraging its members to work on attracting under-25s to the industry – supporting the CRT courses at Toi Ohomai, North Tec in Whangarei, the Eastern Institute of Technology in Gisborne, Whitireia Polytech in Porirua and the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) in Invercargill.

The seven-month Manukau course, the first of its kind at MIT, aims to graduate students with learner's Class 4 licences. It's divided equally between classroom and practical work. Until now MIT has confined itself to running courses aimed more at the administrative side of road transport – logistics and freight.

NRC says that the SIT course in Invercargill is also proving attractive to women, with an equal split between male and female students.

The majority of the Toi Ohomai women graduates are heading straight into jobs where they'll pursue their goal of becoming truck drivers.

Dayna Callender, for instance, has "always had an interest in trucks. From school the pressure is to go to university – but I was a student for a day on this course last year and decided this was what I wanted to do."

Destiny Leaf needed a Class 4 licence to drive a house truck, but says the course opens up a career path – "and it's a career that has longevity."

Toi Ohomai group manager – road transport and warehousing, Adrian Bowen says he's had "really positive feedback from the companies these students have done work experience at.

"Their work is respected and their attention to detail has been commented on."

The influx of women has been welcomed by Bay of Connections Freight Logistics Action Group chairman John Galbraith: "It's fantastic to see women choosing a career in freight and this helps break down the stereotype that it's a job just for men."

Galbraith says others interested in getting into truck driving can attend the industry's "Big Day Out" to be held as part of the Tauranga Careers Expo on August 10-11 at Baypark Stadium.

The MIT course is open to anybody with a car driver's licence, says Vaughan Lovelock, MIT's head of practice and logistics.

The course takes students through all the theory necessary to gain a Class 2 licence, as well as the practical experience.

This involves placement with a trucking company for one day a week, as well as using a driving simulator and gaining practical experience in forklift driving.

Nationally, the Sector Workforce Employment Programme (SWEP), set up early last year to encourage more drivers into the industry, has seen a 10% rise in the issuing of Class 5 licences, allowing drivers to use the largest truck and trailer units.

"The success of the CRT courses depends on the industry setting up cluster groups of trucking companies to support the programme and to provide the on-the-job practical experience, which is all part of the course," says Steve Divers, SWEP's director Career Pathways - Road Freight Transport.


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