Saturday, April 20, 2024

Driving freight workers agenda at Victorian transport conference

Workers who drive the Victorian economy through its $21 billion freight and logistics industry will be the focus of this week’s Victorian Transport Association state conference, says State Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne.

The Minister opened the conference today in Philip Island, which brings together key members of the industry to improve and enhance supply chain capability and address labour shortages.

“We’re continuing to work with the freight and logistics industry to keep supply chains moving into the future and benefit the thousands of Victorians who work in and rely on it daily,” she said.

“This Victorian Transport Association state conference is a great way to hear from key members of the industry to understand issues and address them, so we can keep supporting our producers, freight operators and exporters.”

The Minister said those in the industry will be recognised under this year’s theme: People First – Managing Transport’s Greatest Asset.

“The Labor Government is working with the Victorian Transport Association to address labour shortages in the sector through the Freight Industry Training initiative,” she said.

The $3 million program – which was launched early last year – has equipped participants with the necessary skills to secure long-term job opportunities, such as driving heavy vehicles, forklifts and working in warehousing, and ensuring essential supplies get to their destination.”

The Government’s Women in Transport Strategy 2021-24 will also be a focal point at the conference – with the project aimed at increasing the number of women working in public and private industry transport sectors to 50% by 2024.

Women currently make up just 16% of workers in the freight and logistics industry and therefore have been a priority in the program – many are now in full-time employment and more graduates are looking for opportunities to join them, said Minister Horne.

The sector’s resilience and response to local and global events that have impacted supply chains will also be discussed at the conference. It includes the impacts to the industry following the devastating floods last year.

The freight sector contributes $21 billion to the state’s economy each year and underpins 260,000 jobs that ensure producers, exporters and importers can get their products to local and global markets.

The state conference is being held until March 21.

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