Ask any transport operator and they will tell you that the key to success for their business are the people who keep the wheels of the trucks turning and goods being dispatched to people all over Aotearoa New Zealand. We and the rest of the world are now discovering that this is more important than ever as it’s become harder to get staff.

Members told us in a survey late last year that one of the things they want from their association is for us to tell the story of the industry, to explain to the public what it is that road transport companies do, but also to share among each other the good news stories about the industry and the people who make it special.

With the biggest social media and digital presence representing road transport operators, we will continue to use that far more effectively. We want to promote stories about people in the industry in our weekly e-magazine Dispatch, in Road Transport News, our monthly e-magazine, on our website, and through social media on Facebook and LinkedIn.

So, please send us your photos and your stories. We want to show everybody what’s happening and the great work that’s happening out there because we don’t talk about it enough and I’ve often said the road transport industry allows its light to shine under a bushel – email

When we talk, people take notice. The Save Our Supply Chain (SOS) campaign that we ran earlier this year had a million eyeballs across it. We asked people to come forward and be drivers and to do that effectively we need to say and show what the industry does for the country – carrying groceries, carrying livestock, carrying vital building products and medical supplies, and ensuring our exports get to market. We will keep telling that story.

The industry is becoming increasingly diverse. And if we want to avoid significant driver shortages we have to open the door to diversity. That’s why we’ve got these fantastic diversity awards with Teletrac Navman that are happening now. We are delighted that our programmes are helping attract new and talented people from a range of backgrounds into the industry.

One example is Nadine Rowan-Thomson, who has graduated with two micro credentials on our Road to success traineeship. She works for KAM Transport, and is about to go onto the next stage of her license next month. We developed micro credentials as part of the traineeship. They each require from eight to 10 hours of study, and right now there are literally hundreds of people across the road transport industry who have either completed these or who are currently in study.

Over 40 per cent of truck drivers in New Zealand say they have no qualification, so my message to employers is: Get your staff on just one of these qualifications and once they complete it, they will have gained a new NZQA-approved qualification in road transport that will prove a real asset and stand them in good stead for the future. Whether you’ve been driving for 20 years or two months, that’s really important. People who join the industry, either as a truck driver or in another role, now expect to see a career trajectory showing them how they can develop their careers, and these micro qualifications are a first step in achieving that.

Please get in touch with Transporting New Zealand on (04) 471 8286 if you want to get a trainee onboard with our Road to success programme. We currently have people who are lining up to become trainees, but we lack road transport operators. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s very difficult for me to go out into the media and to say we have a driver shortage when road transport operators are not picking up trainees who are wanting to start as truck drivers! So, if you have been thinking about taking on a trainee, give Te ara ki tua Road to success manager Fiona McDonagh a call to find out what is involved.

There are four micro credential courses on offer for road transport. It’s really quick and easy and well worthwhile. As an industry, we need to be an industry of qualifications, of skills, and of training. That’s how we build a workforce for the future, and it’s very important that operators are on board with us.

Call 0800 88 21 21, for MITO, to register for a micro credential course.

To finish off, a reminder: Please share your stories with us and we look forward to hearing from you!

– Nick Leggett is chief executive of Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand.

You can also listen to an audio version of Nick talking to David Killick here.

Please note: The content of this Advisory has been issued to inform members of Transporting New Zealand. It is for road freight transport industry circulation, not for media publication. It can be forwarded in its entirety to members of Transporting New Zealand. It cannot be reproduced, or printed in parts, under any logo other than Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand’s logo, without written permission from Transporting New Zealand.