Two commercial road transport programmes have been launched at UCOL Wairarapa to support the region's booming logistics sector.
The programmes are fee-free to domestic learners until the end of 2022.
Dr Bob Stewart, UCOL Wairarapa Academic Portfolio Manager – Trades, Conservation and Primary, says the logistics sector is growing and needs more workers.
"Truck drivers are in demand all across the country, and it can be a well-paying career, with pay rates of up to $40 an hour," says Bob.
"If a secondary school student started the Certificate in Commercial Road Transport Skills in July and followed it up with their Class 2 licence and the Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (Heavy Vehicle Operator), they could be making a good living just six months out of school."
The Commercial Road Transport Skills Certificate introduces learners to the commercial road transport industry. Ākonga will learn about different types of vehicles, how to load them correctly, pre-start vehicle checks, and transporting dangerous goods. Learners will practice driving small trucks and can earn their Forklift Operators Certificate and first aid certificate.
"The programme is ideal for anyone wanting to work in a trucking yard or loading area or progress onto UCOL's Certificate in Commercial Road Transport," says Bob.
The programme aims to prepare learners to get their Class 2 licence, which is required for the Certificate in Commercial Road Transport.
The programme runs for 17 weeks for full-time students. Secondary students interested in the programme will be able to attend lessons two days a week through UCOL's U-Skills Trades Academy.
"It is a great way for rangatahi to get a taste for the industry, develop their driving skills, and earn NCEA credits," says Bob.
The Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (Heavy Vehicle Operator) is aimed at people who work in the sector or who have a Class 1 or Class 2 licence and want to work as heavy truck drivers. Graduates will walk away with either a Class 4 or Class 5 licence, as well as a forklift driver endorsement, a dangerous goods endorsement, and a comprehensive first aid certificate.
The programme includes workplace learning and is perfect for those already working in the logistics industry and who want to become drivers. Both full-time and a part-time study options are available.
“A benefit of businesses putting their workers through the Heavy Vehicle Operator programme is that the licence fee is covered, saving the employers thousands of dollars,” says Bob.