Driving diversity in trucking, Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand (Transporting New Zealand) and Teletrac Navman have brought a “ground-breaking initiative” to the road transport industry in New Zealand to drive diversity

The 2022 Driving Change Diversity Programme – which has just closed for nomination – will develop a group of diversity champions, nominated from within the transport industry, teaching them how to create change and facilitate diversity in their workplace and community. It is based on a similar successful programme run by the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) across the Tasman.

Falling under the banner of Transporting New Zealand’s Te ara ki tua Road to success traineeship, it is the first trans-Tasman programme of its kind in the industry, focused on tackling the challenge of attracting talent to the industry by making it more inclusive.

“With the support of Teletrac Navman, the 2022 Driving Change Diversity Programme will showcase diversity champions to the New Zealand trucking industry and wider community, and help promote a positive view of the careers available in road freight transport to encourage more people into the sector’s workforce,” says Transporting New Zealand chief executive Nick Leggett.

Participants in the 2022 Teletrac Navman Driving Change Diversity Programme will be provided professional development coaching to become mentors, be supported to become spokespeople for diversity and inclusion in the industry, and develop a strong professional network with like-minded individuals.

“There’s no doubt our industry will benefit from this. There have long been concerns about driver shortages, so we need to create an environment where both local and overseas drivers feel welcome,” Leggett says.

“Diversity in the workplace has proven benefits such as increased productivity, access to a greater talent pool, competitive advantages, and the development of more inclusive, attractive workplaces. There are many opportunities available to people with an interest in road transport, logistics, and heavy-vehicle mechanics,” Leggett says.

Transporting New Zealand says that the trucking industry is vital to New Zealand’s productivity and economic growth, with trucks transporting 93% of New Zealand’s freight. Teletrac Navman marketing director Megan Duncan says, “During the two years that the programme has been running in Australia, we’ve seen positive changes in the transport industry. Interest in the programme is increasing and the participants are creating a strong diverse network of people who will help shape the future of the industry. We’re looking forward to bringing New Zealand into the programme in 2022 and growing diversity in the sector on both sides of the Tasman.”

ATA chair David Smith says the programme had received overwhelming support from industry members since its Australian launch.

“We are so thrilled to welcome our New Zealand counterparts to the programme. They are demonstrating the leadership and innovative thinking that is crucial to building a viable and sustainable industry,” Smith says.