NatRoad links with Paccar to tackle driver shortage

Future-Ready aims to attract youth into the trucking industry

NatRoad links with Paccar to tackle driver shortage
Warren Clark addresses the conference


The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad), in collaboration with the PaccarDealer Network, announces its ‘Future-Ready’ program at the 2018 NatRoad Annual Conference.

The peak trucking body points out that, with less than 15 per cent of truck drivers under the age of 30 and the road freight task set to double by 2030, the industry is justifiably concerned about the looming national driver shortage.

The initiative comes as both as the Women Driving Transport Careers push for more drivers gathers increased pace and Paccar gains more official recognition for its general training performance.

Read about the latest injection of drivers into Australia’s diminishing ranks, here

"Day in, day out, transport business across the country provide the link between manufacturers, producers and retailers to keep Australia moving initiative," NatRoad CEO Warren Clark says.

"However, with the average age of current drivers now 53, and the difficulties with getting insurance for those under the age of 25, the problem is compounding. It is becoming increasingly hard to recruit skilled drivers.

"When you combine all the factors around the driver shortage, like women accounting for about 1 per cent of drivers, as well as inadequate facilities and lack of cultural diversity, we as an industry need to ask the hard questions and find the answers.

"We have identified some key areas for tackling the driver shortage problem including improving the overall professional status by working with government agencies and trade bodies to develop recognised industry trades, addressing insurance head on to find a solution, and improving the image of our industry through non-traditional approaches.

 "Attracting younger workers to the road transport industry is a priority for NatRoad.

"This project will draw more young people into the sector and diversify the workforce.

"The introduction of the program will also provide the impetus for the next generation to consider a career in the sector."

Brown & Hurley group general sales manager Tony Hurley sees the link as a logical step towards finding a solution.

 "It just makes sense," Hurley says.

"This issue is nation-wide and needs to be dealt with by all sectors of the road transport industry which NatRoad and ourselves are well placed to do."

For Paccar, a broad approach gives the initiative its best chance to make a difference.

"By exploring all facets of the industry including manufacturers’ focus on making trucks easier, and safer, to drive we can all contribute to the solution," Paccar Australia director for product development Ross Cureton says.

"We are taking a proactive approach to find a lasting solution to address the skills shortage problem."


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