The transport industry is facing an ongoing issue with a lack new worker entering the industry. A recent survey showed that the average truck driver is over the age of 50 years old and this in itself is a concern for heavy freight companies and industry associations.
Transport Women Australia (TWAL) is encouraging all of the leaders in the transport industry to work together to create a workable strategy to build a sustainable future.
There is currently a distinct lack of women also in the transport industry and Transport Women Australia believes that it is not only a matter of attracting women and younger workers to the industry that is the issue.
The image of the transport industry needs sprucing up to attract the workers that can help build its future and needs to also work on a ‘concerted’ strategy that will ensure that workers will stay in the industry long term.
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Transport Women Australia (TWAL) is calling on transport leaders to work together to promote the industry and improve its image to attract workers.
TWAL Director and Lindsay Transport Human Resources Manager Melissa Strong believes a “concerted” campaign to recover the image of the industry will help address retention issues.
Strong says the transport industry is facing stiff competition from the mining sector for labour.
“The major transport associations and the peak body, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), and of course TWAL need to work together and plan a campaign to promote the industry, improve its image and show its career potential,” she says.
“I have no doubt that if the associations demonstrated a willingness to take action and promote the industry, all of the big transport companies would get behind them and push but it needs to happen sooner rather than later.”
Strong says people rarely leave the transport industry once they enter it because it delivers a tremendous amount of job satisfaction.
She points to a personalised approach a key tool to promote the trucking industry.
“If you remind people that the milk or their Weet-Bix got there on a truck they can see that their personal relationship with the industry is a lot closer than they realised,” Strong says.
To build any industry it is essential to have a constant flow of new workers that bring fresh energy and new ideas that can be applied to create a long-term future.
The transport industry has known for a period of time that there is a predominant labour shortage in the industry that needs to be addressed to strengthen and grow transport.