Through its Industry Pathways Program, O’Brien Transport is bringing new generations into the transport industry through structured and professional on the job training.
Now in its third generation, O’Brien Transport was started in 1948. It runs depots in Albury, Melbourne and Sydney, predominantly servicing the east coast with its fleet of 50 trucks. In addition, it runs a small parcels division called Albury Blue Logistics.
Although the Pathways Program has been running for some time, it was launched in its current capacity this year.
It’s a structured program designed to transition new recruits into the transport industry – whether they’re a school leaver looking for a new career, or someone looking for a change in direction.
“A number of young people have come through the Pathways Program, including five people who have joined us this year in different areas. One got his forklift licence and is now working in local operations; another is driving heavy rigids and will eventually move into bigger trucks. We have others who have come in with HC licences and have used the program to progress through to their MC,” explained corporate services manager Christine O’Brien.
She says it’s a professional program centred around helping people become not just drivers, but professional drivers. “Truck driving is a professional career, and as such our Pathways Program is run professionally and without risk. Those coming through the program need to first do local work, understand fatigue and understand risk before they can progress to the next stage. People can come into our business with minimal skills and learn from the ground up.
“We even have a really small truck so that kids on their red P-plates can come in and get a feel for it and work their way up. Those coming through the program are learning all the time and being mentored by others in the business. The feedback from those coming through the program is that the mentoring from our other drivers has been excellent.”
With many businesses struggling to find drivers at present and the often talked about driver shortage, O’Brien says now’s the time to promote the opportunities available through a career in transport. “With the pandemic, what we found was that many people in hospitality for example were left without work or faced the prospect of being out of work – whereas transport is an essential service, so there will always be work. Our program is designed for people wanting to join the transport industry.”
O’Brien added that attracting new talent into the industry is critical. “Unless we change what we are doing, we are going to continue to have the same problems when it comes to bringing more people into the industry. We need to promote our industry as a professional one with a lot of opportunity. I think sometimes the general public forgets how the toilet paper gets onto the shelves.”
The Pathways Program recognises the vast roles that make up the industry and offers training across a wide scope of areas. On the driving side, it covers everything from forklift, to rigid, HC and MC licences. The program is also used to support careers in operations, compliance, administration and pallet management too.
For more information about O’Brien Transport’s Pathways Program or to view the current opportunities available, please visit obrientransport.com.au/pathways.