Trucking convention to tackle workplace issues

Trucking Convention to discuss ways to improve workforce skills through government-industry initiatives

The annual Australian Trucking Convention will this year turn its attention to skills and employment strategies, with government and industry officials discussing ways for companies to build an effective workforce.

The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor will take part in the workforce session, which will include figures from Queensland Transport, Kagan Logistics and the Victorian Transport Association.

The keynote speakers will look at how government and industry partnership can help meet businesses labour needs, which the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says are critical to the future of the industry.

"The convention program on Friday 24 April will focus on how trucking companies can get the skilled and motivated employees they need. It will look at the government programs that are available to help, as well as how we can train drivers better," ATA Chairman Trevor Martyn says.

He says the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council will also use the session to launch its report on the industry’s current and future workforce demands.

Martyn says it "will provide delegates with must-have information about the recruitment challenges facing every company in the industry" and the keynote speakers will offer suggestions on how to meet those challenges.

The ATA is backing government-industry partnerships, saying they help give young people a pathway into the industry while also giving current staff the chance to build upon their skills.

DECA Chief Executive Bruce McDonald will also look at better way to train drivers, with Martyn says the current training and testing system stifles young people and non-heavy vehicle license holders from entering the industry.

The ATA is currently developing a proposal for a national driver licensing scheme and Martyn says there will be a feedback session on the issue.

"The Friday 24 April sessions at the 2009 Australian Trucking Convention are set to be a vital source of information and ideas for every trucking operator who has to worry about staff training, recruitment and planning," Martyn says.

The 2009 Australian Trucking Convention will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Entertainment Centre from 21-24 April.

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