Driver shortage still an issue: Isuzu

More work needs to be done to attract young job seekers to the road transport industry, according to Isuzu

While the Australian road transport scene may be changing from a male-dominated workforce that suffered from a tarnished image courtesy of a small rogue element, more needs to be done to make it attractive to young job seekers, says Phil Taylor, Isuzu Australia’s Chief Operating Officer.

Taylor says just about every aspect of the road freight industry has been transformed for the better during the course of the last two decades.

"Over the last 20 years, I've witnessed road transport transform itself from an industry that many considered to be unskilled and laborious, to one providing a high-tech sophisticated network of innovative and process driven supply chain solutions," he says.

"Road freight is not as simple as putting goods on a truck and getting the receiving party to sign off when it's delivered – today, transport companies have teams of experts from a variety of business disciplines who employ leading-edge technology to design the most efficient solutions to address all facets of the freight function. "

The freight task is expected to climb rapidly and evidence of preference for road freight over rail, ship and aviation can be seen in investment allocations made to infrastructure by the commonwealth and state governments, Taylor says.

"Currently, supply chains are growing more complex, and the added pressures of energy costs, efficiency demands, environmental awareness, legal compliances and a large deficit in skilled drivers and other industry personnel are presenting challenges."

He says the DECA mobile driving simulator, which allows non-truck drivers to experience driving a heavy vehicle, is a good start, along with other trainers taking part in "Adult Learner" expos, but the private sector and governments must work more closely towards overcoming skill shortages.

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