It is believed or portrayed by the Truck Transport Industry that there is a shortage of at least 2000 Truck Drivers currently.
Radio NZ Released an article today based on this information and suggested many were quitting due to the road condition of the inland route (Alternative State Highway) which has seen an increase in traffic since State Highway 1 through Kaikoura has been closed since the earthquakes that devastated the region.
There are several initiatives now to train new truck drivers, but the thing is there aren't the entry-level jobs for them to enter the workplace and to develop to the next step. The industry needs to adjust their thinking and help further the skills of our entry-level truck drivers.
There are many Class 2 Drivers unable to secure a job for one reason or another more often than not due to a lack of experience. The only company I have seen to date offering entry level Truck Driving positions is Provida Foods, which my hat goes off to them for taking the initiative to help develop the next lot of Truck Drivers, there may be others, although I haven't personally seen them.
Companies are looking for Class 4 / Class 5 drivers, but we can't get the Class 2 Drivers to the Class 4/5 Levels without giving them a chance in the beginning.
Many truck drivers around now are heading for retirement soon which will make more burden on the industry, and our reliance on trucks for transporting our stuff around the country gets more and more the problem is only going to get worse unless the industry takes the step to help develop the next generation of drivers.
There is no point in getting in immigrants to do the work when we have many kiwis seeking an opportunity to drive trucks. Some have suggested that Truck Drivers face some of the worst working conditions and forced to work long hours, the drivers themselves need to be treated well enough for them to also want to stay otherwise we may face the possibility of not being able to move the freight around the country that we need to in a timely fashion.
Published by D Blair, Hamilton