Recruiting and retaining transport drivers will no doubt be a central theme of the Victorian Freight and Logistics Council and City of Ballarat’s Transport & Logistics Workforce Roadshow to be held in Ballarat on Thursday 28 July.
Driver shortages plague many local carriers, with a common practice of drivers trading their skills between several companies and more experienced drivers moving out of the industry in frustration at the demands placed by transport regulators.
“Young people coming into the industry may have learnt to drive a truck, but they are not taught how to move freight,” commented Creswick-based managing director of GDP Transport, David Preston. “They don’t know much about the freight they carry and how to manage it. Apprenticeships in small companies are often limited because of the type of freight or services provided, so local operators may need to band together in a group apprenticeship scheme to give a good mix of experiences.”
Smaller regional businesses in transport, warehousing and forwarding need help to ensure their staff are across regulations, especially drivers coping with the new fatigue management laws.
“One small error in a work diary can mean a large fine. This can cause drivers to decide they’ve had enough. What we lose is all that experience and knowledge. As new laws are introduced, small operators are lost in the ‘noise’ of big companies influencing the regulators. At a recent meeting in Ballarat, three local operators with 150 years of combined experience pointed this out to regulators.”
The Roadshow is a two-way process, exploring the local workforce needs of transport and logistics suppliers. It also shares ideas, lets local know what is happening across the state and provides contacts and information about what is available to help businesses manage a growing freight and passenger task.
The Roadshow will be held on Thursday 28 July, 2.30 to 6.00pm, in The Trench Room, Ballarat Town Hall, corner Sturt & Armstrong Sts, Ballarat. For information contact David Henderson on (03) 8688 1831, or go to www.vflc.com.au to register. The Roadshow is a free event.