Transport Women Australia address industry skills shortage

Transport Women Australia Limited (TWAL) recently held a special meeting in Sydney with the specific purpose of developing a strategy to assist in attracting and retaining a skilled workforce for all aspects of the transport industry in Australia.

The meeting was convened following TWAL’s successful conference in June where the recurring challenge of the transport industry’s collective skills shortage was evident. It was decided back then that a panel would be formed to address the issue and last week’s meeting was the result.

Attendees were Pam McMillan (TWAL Chair), Jacquelene Brotherton (road transport industry), Rhonda Renwick (bus industry), Melissa Strong (road transport industry), Jo-Ann Davidson (aviation industry) and Julie Skerman (Volvo Trucks).

The meeting agreed that the perception of the transport industry needed to be marketed in a positive manner in order to encourage people to apply for, and stay in, employment positions and that all employees needed to be engaged in what the various aspects of the industry had to offer as a career choice. 

The foundation of the campaign is to be more about asking questions and seeking feedback rather than the now over-used “the mining industry takes all the workers” mentality. A vital factor will also be expressing the appreciation of existing staff and keeping them engaged with the industry. The theme of the two way dialog will be termed “How are we travelling?”

A series of regular positive stories from the various industry categories will be provided to the trade and general media designed to present the Australian transport industry as a dynamic and worthwhile place to work and that the industry is admired and respected as the general public now appreciates that it is transport that ensures that groceries are on the shelves and public transport in its various forms is essential to how society operates. The TWAL working group plans to reconvene early in 2013.

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