Truck drivers and transport workers temporarily out of work during the COVID-19 pandemic will be placed in industries currently surging under the newly created Driver Exchange.
The program announced today by the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) will create a pathway for companies to effectively exchange drivers based upon their needs.
The focus of the Driver Exchange according to the VTA is to keep drivers working by encouraging resource sharing within the industry while maintaining efficient supply chains.
"We are calling for expressions of interest by operators with excess drivers and by operators who are in desperate need of drivers," the VTA said in a statement.
"The VTA will assist in matching the requirements and ensuring that there is a smooth transition of drivers from one company to another."
Under the program drivers would take Leave Without Pay from their principal employer and work on a monthly basis as a casual within the other company.
The background of the driver would be documented by a third party in Logical Staffing Solutions to enable a smooth, seamless and cost-effective transition.
"We understand that some drivers will be expected to provide their labour carrying different freight at probably different times and perhaps at different rates. As always, the safety and responsibility for the drivers would always be paramount," the VTA said in its statement.
The VTA noted that the COVID-19 crisis won’t last forever and acknowledged it was of critical importance that the transport industry keep its most important assets – its people – busy and working.
"Transport will be in even greater demand when the crisis starts to ease, and our people are essential for the recovery.
"The transport industry has responded magnificently to support the Australian community and workers and operators in the supply chain as the impacts of the coronavirus spreads throughout our economy.
"Recognition of our industry as an essential service is now widespread with communities openly appreciating the role of transport in maintaining supplies of food, water, clothing, medical supplies, petrol, waste and recycling recovery and other items that are the staples of our lives.
"But while some sectors of our industry are busier than ever, others have experienced a downturn as parts of our economy are progressively shut down to contain the spread of the virus. This has created an imbalance in the supply of drivers and vehicles, which the VTA is keen to correct to keep transport workers in employment, and to keep supermarkets, pharmacies and other essential retailers fully stocked."
To register your interest and learn more, please contact us via the VTA website or by calling the Association on 03 9646 8590.