Training course for women wanting to be truck drivers

Libby Paton is among regional women signing up for the heavy vehicle course through Wodonga TAFE.

A pilot training program designed to help women obtain a heavy vehicle driver licence is on offer at Wodonga TAFE.

The program, involving Volvo Group Australia and Transport Women Australia, is provided through Wodonga TAFE’s Transport Division DECA, and supported by Volvo Group Australia Driver Academy with the supply of a prime mover.

Information on the six-week intensive training will be available from the Wodonga TAFE site at this year’s Henty Machinery Field Days.

The Women Driving Transport Careers program covers theory, practical training behind the wheel, mechanical appreciation and assessment.

“Wodonga TAFE has a mission to strengthen communities and industries through accessible and innovative learning, which is exactly what this training will achieve for women wanting to obtain a heavy vehicle truck licence,’’ National Manager Transport at DECA Simon Macaulay said.

“We provide participants with the industry standard skills and know-how. We take them through areas that are barely mentioned in a lot of licence instruction, such as health and safety procedures, fatigue management, chain of responsibility and use of technology,’’ he said.

Research conducted by Volvo Group Australia in 2016 found the average age of truck drivers in Australia is 47, while 52 per cent of employers struggle to attract the quantity of drivers needed and 46 per cent are already experiencing a shortage of available drivers.

According to the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council 2015 E-Scan 7 report, around four per cent of truck driving roles in Australia are occupied by women.

The industry perception and the poor stereotypes represent a barrier to more women entering this male-dominant area.

For further information meet with DECA staff at the Wodonga TAFE site at C79-80.