23 February 2012
Job opportunities drive applicants for UCOL transport programme
Applicants for UCOL’s new truck and forklift driving programme
are arriving well aware of the shortage of skilled drivers – in the region and internationally.
The Level 2 National Certificate in Goods Services
programme was introduced last year and is now filling its quota for the first intake for 2012.
Programme Coordinator Dave Jenkins says there’s a strong awareness amongst applicants that the certificate will lead to
job opportunities, in New Zealand, Australia and further afield.
He says the shortage is partly driven by an ageing truck driving population, with many nearing retirement. “There’s also
an increasing need for skilled drivers with the knowledge to manage the safety, fuel economy, weights and loading issues
that are part of the job.”
Truck driving is on the skill shortage lists for immigrants in both New Zealand and Australia. Dave says Road Transport
NZ also recently drew attention to the problem in a circular to members, quoting international reports that show the
demand for truck drivers is now reaching a critical level.
“In the United States there’s a real nervousness about this shortage as the economy slowly strengthens and demand
increases. The same can be said of New Zealand.”
The Branch Manager of national transport company Hooker Pacific
in Palmerston North, Chris Buddle, confirms a shortage of drivers in the Manawatu. “Especially good ones. As a company
committed to training, we strongly support the UCOL programme because it means graduates come into the industry with an
awareness of the big issues, including safety, and an appreciation of the training and experience they need to move up
to further levels.
“We need committed people with real skills and a real interest in the challenge of professional driving and the
opportunities available in a fast growing local industry. It requires a range of skills and knowledge – it’s not just
about being a driver. We really need these people coming into the transport sector - and they can look forward to
Chris says the UCOL certificate is also the first step towards becoming Class 5 drivers who are even more in demand.
UCOL is the only trainer in the Manawatu offering the nationally recognised certificate which also includes a Forklift
Safety certificate and Dangerous Goods endorsement.
Dave Jenkins says the programme includes how to load and unload vehicles and do pre-drive checks. “The skills they get
make graduates very employable in a range of areas like local delivery, warehousing, or couriering, just to name a few.”
The programme starts on 12 March, with a limited number of places still available. More information here