For many trying to get into the industry, it’s the same old story: How do I gain experience if no one will give me a chance?
The transport industry is growing all the time and new entrants are keenly sought after, but how do we connect these people with the companies that need them?
Paul Leabeater is the owner of Baulkham Hills Removals and believes the Australian furniture removal industry is the perfect entry point for young people looking for a start in transport.
Removals offers a unique blend of skills-based training, with many of the skills transferable across a broad range of transport tasks. “The modern removal company is a different creature to what it was when I started 36 years ago,” Leabeater said.
“Many have morphed into transport companies, like our business with linehaul and storage operations. There are countless opportunities starting from the ground up, and someone with a bit of go in them would find a job they love if they looked hard enough.”
Gaining experience in driving is one of the key benefits that removals can offer. No one is going to give you the keys to a shiny new big rig until you have plenty of experience. Removal companies have small trucks and vans that even P-platers can drive, allowing them to progress through bigger trucks as they gain more experience.
Removals can be a rewarding job that teaches you to think on your feet and makes you resourceful and resilient.
“I’ve often said that if you give us three or four years of reliable employment and leave here with a good reference and a truck or semi licence, you’ll get a job anywhere.
“Employers would know that time spent in a removals company means you are a hard worker and a good driver, because we put trucks into places they probably shouldn’t go, just to get the job done,” added Leabeater.
He says the best part about the removals industry is the variety – every day is different. Whether it’s working around town or going away on country trips, no two days are the same.
“I still love doing country trips, it’s like getting paid to see the country. Every day on a trip you look around and say, how good is this?”
Leabeater’s business is linked up with many other removalists through a freight network called Safe & CleverTM. They transport goods between each other’s depots and look after each other’s customers, giving the family-based businesses interstate reach throughout the east coast of Australia. All the owners of these businesses are looking for new entrants to join them, so there are jobs there for the taking. Paul
Leabeater can put prospective employees in touch with owners in many parts of Sydney, as well as Newcastle, Melbourne, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Brisbane. These are all reputable companies who pay properly and look after their staff.
“I guess what we are looking for is a bit of passion, I think you need to have a bit of diesel in your blood to enter transport, maybe a love of cars and trucks. For me, every day is like coming to work and playing with a big trainset. If you enjoy what you are doing it won’t seem like work at all,” he said.
And finally, Leabeater added with a grin, “I didn’t even know what a removalist was when I left school. I stumbled into this industry and haven’t looked back. Maybe one of the new entrants we’re searching for will stick around and take my job one day.”