An SOS – save our supply chain – call is going out to truck drivers today to get them back behind the wheel as New Zealand battles staff shortages, says Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand chief executive Nick Leggett.

“Today we have launched a recruitment campaign with HainesAttract and we think it is eye-catching enough to get the attention of people who can drive a truck, but for whatever reason they aren’t at the moment,” Leggett says.

“The campaign taps into the current pain in the supply chain – empty fridges, empty supermarket shelves, empty mailboxes, and the last piece of toilet paper on the roll. While there is a bit of humour, it is really no laughing matter for those trying to keep the supply chain operating under difficult circumstances. Hence the SOS.

“We know there are drivers out there with a Class 2, 4 or 5 licence, suitable for a heavy vehicle, who are currently not working as truck drivers and we need to encourage them to help save our supply chain and get back in the driver’s seat.

“As you will be seeing everywhere, staff shortages as a result of either Omicron illness or household contact isolation are hitting businesses throughout New Zealand.

“Now, more than ever, we need every available truck on the road delivering to supermarkets, pharmacists, hospitals, doctors, and everyone else who requires goods to get through this challenging time.

“Since January this year, we have been collecting details of drivers who might be able to cover a shift or two here and there, or who might want to get back into a truck on a more permanent basis. We had a shortage of truck drivers long before Covid hit.

“We have been working with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) Industry Partnerships team to recruit drivers and MSD is helping fund this work.

“This campaign takes that out to a wider audience so we can ensure New Zealanders don’t actually have to face an empty fridge or fight over the toilet paper,” Leggett says.

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