A pilot program that began in early 2020 is paving the way for unemployed youth to begin a career in the transport and logistics industry.
Since the Jobs in Logistics PaTH Program was launched in WA by the Western Roads Federation (WRF), in partnership with Training Course Experts, 79 young people have completed the program.
“The program puts unemployed youth aged between 17 and 24 through a 12 week program, where they receive all of their training qualifications, including things like fork lift and load restraint. They then go on to two weeks of paid job placement,” said Cam Dumesny, Executive Officer at WRF.
“From an industry perspective, it really gave an entry pathway into the industry. It has been extremely successful and that’s what our industry needs. Around 75% of the program’s participants were offered jobs by the companies which had taken them on as interns.”
Among these was sensitive freight business Macknsons. Four people from the program have completed internships at Macknsons, with two of them taken on as permanent employees.
Ebenezer Joseph (21) has now been with Macknsons a little over 12 months, and Timothy Willsher (18) was offered a job just before Christmas.
Macknsons operates two depots, one in Perth and one in the Pilbara, and a fleet of nine trucks. It specialises in storing, maintaining and moving sensitive equipment across WA.
When Macknsons became aware of the Jobs in Logistics PaTH Program, it was quick to jump on board. “A lot of the traditional pathways into the industry are no longer available, so when we became aware of the initiative, we got in touch with WRF,” said Peter McDougall, at Macknsons.
“We haven’t been involved in these sorts of programs before because like a lot of businesses, we didn’t know about them. It’s such a great way to bring in young people and I place a high value on having junior members in the team. Everyone talks about wanting experienced people, but we need to have the juniors too. This gives them a pathway in and they can build a life around it – it’s long term.”
And according to McDougall, both new recruits have settled in really well. “The program gives you a chance to try before you buy. It’s an efficient, effective way of introducing and growing your human resources, which is one of the trickiest parts of our jobs, yet also the most important. You can buy the best trucks and equipment, but you can’t just go out and place an order for 10 of the best the best people.”
Despite its success, government funding for the program is beginning to dry up. “Unfortunately, the funding might not continue beyond June,” Dumesny added.