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Freight Victoria addresses workforce shortages: VTA State Conference 2024

Yesterday, attendees at State Conference 2024 gained some insight into the results of the Victorian Government’s Freight Industry Training Jobseekers Project, which concluded at the end of last year.

The strategic plan, supported by the VTA, looked to attract candidates from a more diverse community cross section to secure long-term job opportunities in the transport industry.

In her presentation, Freight Victoria Senior Policy Officer, Jess Murdoch, who was previously the Project Manager for the Freight Industry Training Project, said she experienced firsthand the challenges of the workforce shortages across the freight industry.

“Through that process, we also encountered the opportunities that exist in the future of training and recruitments,” she said.

“The benefit of the program, and for the freight industry more generally, was to work towards addressing some of those workforce shortfalls which exist all along the supply chain.

“The true success of the Freight Industry Training Project have been participants who found a career through the program – participants who wouldn’t have looked at the industry for a career previously.”

Murdoch said the Freight Industry Training Project was also created to provide opportunities for those looking for work but were met with challenges around experience.

“Another element of attracting this broader range of people in candidates is managing expectations around experience,” she said.

“That was a big challenge in the Freight Industry Training program. The graduates were represented to the industries as ‘job ready’, and they were trained and motivated to work, but they didn’t have experience.

“There’s only one way to get experience to be able to contribute to this fundamentally essential workforce, and that’s to be given a chance.”

As part of the program Freight Victoria trained new entrants into the industry on forklift operation, warehouse skills and heavy vehicle driving, and it saw several graduates attain positions within the transport sector.

Murdoch said the priority workforce model from Jobs Victoria which supported the program enabled Freight Victoria to utilise the benefits of an existing structure and network to achieve its goal.

“From there, Freight Victoria was able to leverage the benefits of their experience from the freight and logistics sector along with our partnership with the VTA,” she said.

“This cross governmental and industry relationship supported the creation of a functional and agile program that delivered on its objectives.”

Through the program, Murdoch said she experienced the difference that training, along with empathy and support, can make in welcoming new people into the industry.

“We saw some really wonderful people join this industry and I hope to be involved in another project like it in the near future,” she said.

“Freight Victoria will continue to investigate opportunities so that these programs are simpler.”

In other news, National Heavy Vehicle Regulator CEO, Sal Petroccitto, reflected on the NHVR’s 10 years of operations at State Conference 2024.

The post Freight Victoria addresses workforce shortages: VTA State Conference 2024 appeared first on Trailer Magazine.

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