Women driver training program shortlisted for major award

The Women Driving Transport Careers (WDTC) program has been announced as a finalist for the 2021 Victorian Training Awards Industry Collaboration Award.

WDTC is a collaboration between Transport Women Australia Limited (TWAL) and Wodonga TAFE, with sponsorship from Queensland based truck manufacturer Volvo Group Australia (VGA).

The program has been designed to help reduce the driver shortfall within the transport industry that was identified in the 2016 Volvo Report, and to promote the industry as a viable and desirable option for women seeking employment.

TWAL Chair, Jacquelene Brotherton, said the organisation was thrilled to play a part in a program that offers such a great opportunity for women to be employed and trained in the transport industry.

“I’m so proud of this initiative that gives women from all walks of life a fully employed pathway into the trucking industry,” said Brotherton. “The women are employed by participating transport companies and paid to complete a four-week intensive course covering all aspects of the job including driver training, load restraint and correctly filling out a work diary.”

In a statement, Wodonga TAFE said it worked together with TWAL to encourage employers to change their perspective on employing lesser experienced, but better trained staff who have completed the WDTC program, stating it’s widely acknowledged that experience does not always guarantee quality.

This course has reportedly had over a 95 per cent retention rate of students on completion, with multiple students across a number of employers having been promoted into team leader and management roles.

By creating an inclusive training program through consultation with employers, TWAL and Wodonga TAFE have helped to empower these women to become ambassadors for the industry and to inspire other women into considering a career path in the transport industry.

The project shows a great deal of commitment by the employers, who hire staff and cover the cost of them completing the four-week training program before they begin their driving career.

VGA supplied Wodonga TAFE with a new UD truck, co-branded with Wodonga TAFE, VGA and TWAL livery, to assist with the program.

TWAL plays an important role through industry engagement and networking to ensure continued growth of the program, which has been embraced by some of the largest employers within the industry including Linfox, Australia Post, Visy, Alex Fraser, Hanson Australia and Mainfreight.

The winner of the 2021 Victorian Training Awards Industry Collaboration Award will be announced at a gala event scheduled to be held on Saturday 16 October.

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