Drive to recruit and retain must continue: ATA

ATA outlines ways to reduce the impact of an ageing population on the trucking industry

By Michael House | February 2, 2010

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says it will continue its drive to prevent the trucking industry suffering as a result of the country’s ageing population.

Speaking after the release of the Rudd Government’s intergenerational report, Australia to 2050: Future Challenges, ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair says there are ways to help the industry attract and retain good drivers.

"The ATA is arguing for changes to allow young drivers who have demonstrated their competence and professionalism by completing vocational driving qualifications to advance through the graduated licensing system more quickly."

"At the same time, we will need to retain the hard working staff we have for longer. To do this, the industry and governments will need to keep working on making sure our drivers are well, as well as making sure they get home safely after every trip."

According to the report, the proportion of Australia’s population aged 65 and over is set to almost double over the next 40 years.

The report says that such factors will put increased pressure on Australia’s economy and increased productivity growth that is producing more output with fewer workers will be the only thing to stop living standards falling dramatically.

"As the population ages, it will become harder to get and retains staff," St Clair says.

He says the government report rightly highlights the importance of lifting the nation’s productivity to deal with an ageing population.

But St Clair says other measures to boost productivity must also be taken, such as introducing national regulations and permitting the industry to use bigger trucks on more routes.

"Increasing the use of longer, safer vehicles like B-triples and super B-doubles would improve productivity, reduce the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, and deliver safety gains," he says.

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