Skills development central to VTA agenda

The Victorian Transport Association will advance into the next 12 months pursuing five key themes, CEO Phil Lovel has told an industry gathering

By Rob McKay | October 22, 2010

The Victorian Transport Association will advance into the next 12 months pursuing five key themes, chief executive Phil Lovel has told an industry gathering.

With recruitment and retention already a long-term industry concern and state Roads Minister Tim Pallas telling the same gathering it was on his agenda, Lovel said at the launch of Freight 2011 that the VTA had identified five themes to overcome the perception that the industry was unskilled and not attractive to young people:

  • Improving engagement strategies with Generation Y – industry involvement with schools through work experience
  • Image of industry
  • Up-grading of skills for all T&L existing workers
  • Workforce diversity – women, part-time and valuing our people, things such as financial/literacy/superannuation.

The VTA had formed a People Group that met for the first time in late August and would tackle up skilling existing workers and management, industrial relations, superannuation, workers’ compensation, owner-driver management, flexible working conditions to attract different people and strategies to attract young people who might be seeking a career change.

Last month, the it had completed a major survey of technology use and application across the industry, the results of which would be released soon.

While, in the past, the industry had focused on the impact of technology on productivity, the survey found the top four developments were related to safety.

"We have the technology – now is the time for action," Lovel says.

"But it is important to develop and agree on a single technology platform."

Environmental concerns will continue to have a high profile and the VTA has set great store in its 12-month-old EcoStation initiative.

"We have worked tirelessly with 27 Foundation Partners to develop a fleet assessment tool to assist companies to understand where they sit with emissions," Lovel says.

This is also due to be released to the industry shortly with the theme: Saving Fuel, Saving Money, Saving Emissions – a business case.

The safety theme will be developed with safety forums and events involving the Transport Industry Safety Group, VicRoads and the Transport Workers Union.

Sandown will host demonstration in March and during Freight Week on September 5-9.

The fifth theme, the Freight Agenda Day, will focus on issues where government involvement is crucial.

These will include:

  • Freight infrastructure charge
  • Truck exclusion lanes
  • Clearways
  • High productivity freight vehicles
  • Westlink
  • Truck Action Plan
  • Rail-crossing safety
  • Managed motorways
  • National Heavy Vehicle Regulator
  • Congestion charging
  • Environmental freight zones
  • Intermodal strategies and the metropolitan freight terminal network
  • The Melbourne Precinct Action Plan – A freight action plan for all of Melbourne.

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