VTA review tackles truck driver shortage

The VTA releases review with the aim of lifting the standard of Victoria’s heavy vehicle driving workforce

VTA review tackles truck driver shortage
The VTA's Lifting the Standard review


The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has announced the release of its Lifting the Standard review of the Heavy Vehicle Driver Training and Employment Pathways. The VTA says the review outlines the issues with the current approach and proposes an improved system that would benefit all road users and the economy.

"The road transport industry has for many decades struggled to attract and retain the heavy vehicle drivers of the future, and this will only continue in the absence of reform to heavy vehicle licencing and training," the association says.

"We simply cannot afford to continue under the current system until we reach breaking point.

"This review, including all our recommendations, will be sent to the Government and other key stakeholders to generate discussion and help drive much-needed change."

Within the review, the VTA states that, "with the increasing demand for products from all over the world, the freight and logistics sector has never been more important. It is one of the key drivers of the national economy as the demand for road and rail freight continues to grow."

It adds that "The road transport industry is failing to attract skilled and professional drivers to match the demand for road freight services. It is also falling significantly short when it comes to retaining its best talent."

RELATED ARTICLE: WA losing $2 million each day due to driver shortage

The VTA points to its concern over driving training: "Heavy vehicle drivers newly entering the industry are permitted to drive on our roads with minimal time behind the wheel and with limited experience and understanding of the vehicles they are driving," the report states.

"Without a standardised heavy vehicle licencing curriculum that mandates ‘behind the wheel’ training time, the delivery of quality training by reputable providers is falling significantly short."

The VTA says it has developed a proposed framework which would deliver a safe and professional driver workforce that meets the expectations of transport operators and the wider community.

"The proposed overhaul of licencing and training within the road transport industry would lead to significantly improved outcomes for an industry that is struggling to attract and maintain the right people."

The review can be read online here.

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