The transport and logistics industry in Australia currently employs approximately 1.2 million people. Of these, only around 20% are women who are working in either full or part time roles.
The average age of truck drivers is 47, and only 15% of truck drivers are under 30 years of age. Although the transport and logistics workforce has grown by nearly 17% over the last 10 years, workers over 40 grew at twice the rate of workers under 40 (10.2%) over the last 10 years.
This may be due to there being no specific course to attract school leavers to gain employment as a truck driver, and even then, many of them are not allowed to start driving trucks until they are 25.
Yet, as stated in a 2018 report[i], over 80% of employers in transport and logistics reported experiencing a skills shortage in the previous 12 months.
Workforce diversity can help address this by bringing together varied talents to work together towards a common goal and leveraging different skill sets to help ignite greater interest, loyalty and productivity.
For the transport industry, achieving higher levels of workforce diversity also helps promote cultural awareness, allowing us to learn insights on how logistics operate in other countries. For example, how 4,000 Mumbai dabbawallahs successfully distribute 160,000 lunches on time, every day.
Leading the way
Achieving workforce diversity does not happen by accident. It requires strategic focus and investment to understand and deliver working conditions that attract diversity. These include; facilities that cater to both genders such as nursing rooms, and male and female showers; appreciation of cultural needs such as food that caters to a range of diets and prayer rooms; as well as assistance for physical impairments, and even size differences.
Belinda Taylor, an onsite refueller from the Caltex Woolgoolga Depot is a great representative of diversity for the transport industry.
Caltex @ Truck Show 2019 – A stop worth making.
Born in West Wyalong of aboriginal descent, she started with Caltex in November 2018 and within six weeks of training alongside another driver she was delivering fuel on her own. As someone who has always loved heavy duty vehicles, Belinda has previously driven concrete agitators, water trucks and large dump trucks with tyres taller than herself. She loves the camaraderie with the other drivers and many of the operators she refuels remember her from her earlier jobs. Living in Woolgoolga, when she’s away from her On Site Refuelling (OSR) truck, she enjoys the great outdoors, fishing and camping.
As a champion of equal opportunity and diversity, Caltex provides employment opportunities regardless of age, gender, religious or cultural background. Right across Australia, the Caltex National Truck Network sites employ a diverse mix of cultural backgrounds and welcome people from all walks of life, agnostic of age, sex, race, religion or culture. The services they provide are tailored to suit the particular needs and tastes of drivers working in that area, whether it’s in remote Northern Australia or along Australia’s busiest intercity highways.
Discover more about how Caltex is helping fuel the future of diversity for the transport industry at the Truck Show 2019. Visit Caltex at the FOYER – 011 stand.
[i] Australian Industry Standards Skills Forecast 2018, Transport and Logistics.