Like many Australian industries, the trucking industry faces profound change as modern technologies, legislation, and social change transform how we do business, work and live.
While dealing with disruption, we must also address the issues of today, from improving safety and building business productivity, to recruiting skilled and motivated employees.
In response to this change, and with the responsibility to ensure a viable future for our industry, the Australian Trucking Association and Daimler Truck and Bus have partnered to deliver the career-defining Future Leaders’ Forum.
Over the years we have seen Future Leaders come from all over the country from a wide range of backgrounds and roles including business analytics, driver training, logistics, livestock, compliance and finance, representing the various aspects of the transport industry.
Now in its fourth year, the Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders’ Forum is developing the next generation of trucking leaders, shaping them to be strong, experienced and knowledgeable representatives of their business, community, association and industry.
One of the most valuable elements of this program and what makes it truly unique is not only that our Future Leaders get hands-on training in leadership, media, politics, and advocacy, they are then taken to Parliament House in Canberra for real-life lobbying meetings with senior politicians.
These meetings allow our Future Leaders to learn by doing and gain a first-hand experience of how to push key messages and make an impact on Australia’s decision-makers. The Forum also sees Future Leaders undertake a specialised leadership project that focuses on a key industry issue.
Participant in the inaugural program, 2018 Future Leader Stacey Davies said the forum was the best training and development she has completed throughout her 10-year career.
“It allowed me to not only create valuable and ongoing working relationships with other young industry leaders but also helped me develop and refine my project management and presentation skills with the guidance of industry professionals in a safe and encouraging environment,” Davies said.
“Following the 2018 program, I soon received a job promotion as I was able to showcase my commitment, drive and dedication to the business through the implementation of my Future Leaders project.
Davies’ project took a deep dive into workplace culture, recruiting and retaining staff and improving industry image. Her project explored how creating a positive workplace can impact morale, hiring processes and productivity.
Participant in the following cohort, 2019 Future Leader Matthew Allen said the forum is an impactful development program that stands out from the rest.
“My confidence in presenting and communicating grew after the program, and I was given opportunities to continue to develop that in my professional role. This then led to an internal promotion about six months after the program,” Allen said.
With a passion for data analysis and developing future product strategies, Matthew’s Future Leader project explored the rise of e-commerce and how it will lead to an increased need for truck drivers and increased demand for transport companies.
“The program puts you on the other side of the fence and gives you an insight into how legislation is created, the association’s role and involvement in the industry. It also provides a safe environment for you to grow and develop your leadership skills.”
As evidenced by Davies and Allen, the Future Leaders Forum and similar programs have a profound effect on how the next generation of industry leaders will grow and combat challenges.
Giving young leaders the tools and training needed to become strong, knowledgeable industry advocates, this career-defining program ensures the trucking industry remains strong and ready for the future.