Volvo launches Iron Women driver training program

Iron Woman Class of 2023

Volvo Trucks Australia has teamed up with Wodonga TAFE to launch Iron Women, a driver training and licensing program aimed specifically at females.

The pilot program offers training and heavy vehicle licensing to women of all ages and backgrounds interested in a career in road transport.

Some 11 candidates from five transport companies and three states will be taking part in the Australian pilot program, with the only prerequisites being that they’re employed by a transport company and have a desire to take on a driving role.

Companies taking part include Team Global Express, Southeast Queensland Hauliers, John West Logistics, JATEC and Nolan’s Interstate Transport. One fully funded spot was also offered to a candidate based in Tasmania.

The 3-module course covers all aspects of driver training, from compliance, fatigue management and load restraint to obtaining a Heavy Rigid (HR) licence.

Two weeks of classroom theory will be followed by one week of on road heavy vehicle training at Wodonga TAFE’s Barnawartha Vic Logic Campus.

Iron Women participants will train in a Volvo FL Electric rigid and a counterweighted Volvo FH 500 I-Save prime mover.

On completion of the program, the participants will receive a Certificate III in Driving Operations.

Then after 12 months on the job as a HR driver, participants will finish their final module of training and undertake their HC licence test.

Martin Merrick, president and CEO of Volvo Group Australia said: “Iron Women programs have successfully run around the world.

“We can see that the transport industry is suffering from a chronic shortage of skilled drivers.

“Anecdotally, we can also see that industry image also plays a part when it comes to women considering a career in road transport.

“We hope programs like these may help shift the dial on the traditional driver stereotypes and show that a career behind the wheel can be both fulfilling and rewarding.”

He added: “We see time and time again in our own business that diverse teams thrive whether it be on the shop floor or in our own headquarters.

“To see that sort of diversity reflected in our future transport industry would be a fantastic outcome.”

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