A pilot program soon to be offered by Wodonga TAFE aims to increase the number of women driving in the trucking industry.
The Superior Heavy Vehicle Licensing course will welcome its first intake on July 23 in Melbourne, with hopes the scheme comes to the Border later this year.
Wodonga TAFE’s transport division DECA will deliver the program in a partnership with Transport Women Australia and Volvo Group Australia.
National manager of transport Simon Macaulay said the project promoted mentoring and skills like safety protocols, health and safety procedures, road maps, fatigue management, chain of responsibility and the use of technology.
“What we see is that a lot of women from outside the industry can’t see a way in and a career progression and a path,” he said.
“This course is a lot more focused on making sure that people’s personality types and what they’re expecting from the job are more aligned.”
Research indicates only 4 per cent of Australian truck drivers are female, with the industry facing an overall shortage of drivers as well.
Wodonga’s Kayla Loveday, the only woman in her current six-week heavy vehicle class, said the SHVL pilot sounded interesting.
“I might even look into it after I’ve done this, see what they do,” she said.
Ms Loveday, 25, who hopes her course will lead to a job as a truck driver, encourages other women to consider the industry.
“It’s different, not many girls do it, it’s a challenge,” she said.
“It’s not as scary as they think, so just not to be afraid of driving something that’s bigger than you usually drive.
“I couldn’t start it to begin with but once I got going I did pretty well.”
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