SA students get a taste of transport industry

ATA rolls into town to promote transport industry to SA students. The SA Freight Council is backing the move

April 20, 2010

A $1.3 million mobile education centre has begun touring South Australian secondary schools today as part of a strategy to encourage school leavers to enter the transport industry.

The Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) semi-trailer, labelled the Road Ahead, is filled with interactive displays about road safety and the trucking industry.

Students touring the specialised trailer - which includes a presentation and a chance to use the interactive displays - will have an opportunity to try gear changing, loading a truck and much more.

The touring exhibition begins at Ocean View College at Taperoo as part of a national campaign, and South Australia’s peak freight industry group has partnered the ATA to increase awareness of careers in the industry.

South Australia’s peak freight industry group, the SA Freight Council, says it is vital to encourage young people to enter the transport industry due to critical skill shortages.

"As an industry, we must do more to attract people to the national transport and logistics industry – and quickly," SA Freight Council Chairman John McArdle says.

"We are facing a massive shortage of workers over the next decade, yet are not on the radar screens of people looking for work, including many young people investigating the different industries available in Australia, and the qualifications they need to enter those workforces."

McArdle says the Road Ahead is a great way to give schools and students an insight into what the industry has to offer.

"It’s not all about driving trucks and semi-trailers, which are vital parts of our sector, but we also employ accountants, IT specialists, engineers, warehouse managers, business development managers. The list is endless," he says.

McArdle says many do not understand the importance the trucking industry plays in delivering goods.

"People take the industry for granted, not realising that it brings us the milk and cereal we have for breakfast, the clothes we wear to school and work, and the I-Pod we use for entertainment. The industry is an essential part of the community and industry," he says.

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