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Prime Mover Magazine

Volvo-backed historic women driving school begins

The pilot training program Women Driving Transport Careers has commenced this week in Melbourne with eight female students commencing their studies to get a truck drivers’ licence.

The month long course established as a joint program by Transport Women Australia Limited, Wodonga TAFE and Volvo Group Australia has been devised to help encourage women to enter the heavy transport industry.

Students will gain behind-the-wheel experience by use of a prime mover supplied by Volvo Group Australia. The four-week intensive course also covers theory, mechanical appreciation and assessment.

Teresia Fors, Volvo Group Australia Vice President of Marketing and Communications said one of the reasons Volvo was investing in the program to help more women obtain heavy vehicle licences was in light of its customers who were hurting from a chronic drivers’ shortage around the country.

“This course gives us the opportunity to create new pathways for people to enter the industry at a time when it is critically needed,” she said.

Since the announcement of this partnership and course at TAFE Wodonga, Transport Women Australia has been inundated with companies interested in the initiative according to its Chief Executive Officer, Jacquelene Brotherton.

“Clearly this initiative has struck a chord with women not just in the Wodonga area but beyond, and we are delighted to see the demand for this type of education for women. We look forward to seeing the first graduates later this month, and follow their career journey as they progress.”

DECA, Wodonga TAFE’s transport division, was a proud partner of the program according to its National Manager of Transport, Simon Macaulay.

“This program will not only bring new drivers to our industry who previously may not have had the opportunity but will offer them a pathway to a long and rewarding career,” he said.

“Wodonga TAFE/DECA is delivering quality training ensuring they are industry ready and are the safest, highest quality operators they can be. We have established relationships with some brilliant industry partners who have employed the students and will ensure ongoing training guided by us, and will provide mentoring to build the drivers’ experience levels.”

“This is an amazing opportunity for all involved,” said Macaulay.

(Image: student Raffaella Ferraro).

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