App paves the way for female truck drivers

A new smartphone app supported by the Victorian Government will be a one-stop-shop for female truck drivers to give them the confidence and support they need on the road.

The $1.38 million Oz Truck App will provide 24/7 emergency support during breakdowns and crashes, as well as an online forum for drivers to provide peer support, health and wellbeing information, and petrol station, weighbridge and rest-stop finders.

The app was developed after research undertaken at Wodonga TAFE identified negative cultural perceptions of women in the freight and logistics industry, with women reporting intimidation and bullying by male counterparts, and a desire for more support and training for new female drivers and those of diverse backgrounds.

The project will be piloted using 5000 truck drivers from mid-2021 before being rolled out for free to the broader industry.

As part of the Victorian Government’s Women Driving Transport Careers program, Wodonga TAFE developed the app in collaboration with Launchpad App Development, alongside Australia Post, Linfox, Volvo Group Australia, the Australian Trucking Association and Transport Women Australia.

Other initiatives to support women in transport careers include a VET ambassador in schools program, a diversity training program for middle managers in trucking organisations, the creation of a modified heavy vehicle training course and creation of a new truck driver capability framework.

Since 2014, the Victorian Government has invested a record $3.2 billion to rebuild TAFE and support universities and higher education to ensure Victorians have access to high quality education and rewarding career pathways.

The Victorian Budget 2021/22 includes a $383.8 million investment in the sector to ensure more Victorians get the training they need for in-demand jobs.