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NatRoad and PACCAR join forces to combat driver shortage

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) in association with PACCAR and the PACCAR Dealer Network have announced ‘Future-Ready’, a program devised to address the national skills shortage it was announced today at the 2018 NatRoad Annual Conference.

In what is considered an industry first, road transport operators and the commercial vehicle manufacturer are partnering to take a long-term strategic approach to industry wide shortages for drivers and other logistics workers.

With less than 15 per cent of truck drivers under the age of 30, the aging driving workforce is ill-prepared for a road freight task that is expected to double by 2030.

Warren Clark, NatRoad CEO said transport business across the country provided a link between manufacturers, producers and retailers to keep Australia moving.

“However, with the average age of current drivers now 53, and the difficulties with getting insurance for those under the age of 25, the problem is compounding. It is becoming increasingly hard to recruit skilled drivers,” he said.

“When you combine all the factors around the driver shortage, like women accounting for about one per cent of drivers, as well as inadequate facilities and lack of cultural diversity, we as an industry need to ask the hard questions and find the answers.”

According to Clark, NatRoad had identified key areas for tackling the driver shortage problem. These included improving the overall professional status through work with government agencies and trade bodies to develop recognised industry trades, addressing insurance for solutions, and seeking to improve the image of the industry through non-traditional approaches.

“Attracting younger workers to the road transport industry is a priority for NatRoad. This project will draw more young people into the sector and diversify the workforce. The introduction of the program will also provide the impetus for the next generation to consider a career in the sector.”

Ross Cureton, PACCAR Director for Product Development said all facets of the industry needed to be explored including efforts for making trucks, from a manufacturing standpoint, easier to drive.

“We are taking a proactive approach to find a lasting solution to address the skills shortage problem,” he said.

Tony Hurley, Group General Sales Manager, Brown & Hurley said he was delighted to be on board as a partner of the initiative.

“It just makes sense. This issue is nation-wide and needs to be dealt with by all sectors of the road transport industry which NatRoad and ourselves are well placed to do.”

(Image: Scott Davidson NatRoad Board Member, Tony Hurley Brown & Hurley, Ross Cureton PACCAR, Warren Clark NatRoad CEO).

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