Secondary school students interested in a career in the transport industry will get a chance to learn about what it takes at the TMC Trailers Trucking Industry Show in Christchurch in March.
NZ Trucking Association executive officer Carol McGeady says the trade day on 9 March gave them the opportunity to design a careers event.
“We’ve spoken to all the companies that are exhibiting and we have written to all the schools. We’ve told them about the event and asked them to register a group or groups to come to the event.”
Carol says each group will be hosted by a volunteer from the industry who will take them to scheduled appointments at the different companies exhibiting at the show. This will be followed by a sausage sizzle and a truck ride, and then the students are free to wander around the show.
“It will be totally organised, it won’t just be ‘here’s a careers day, go and look at the trucks’. It will be ‘here’s a technology company, here’s a diesel mechanic, here’s a truck salesman’. We’re going to schedule them so they’ll get a broad inside look at the industry. It’s not just trucks; there are all sorts of career options.
“It’s a very bold initiative, I don’t think it’s ever been done before. What we’re doing has allowed the careers advisers to choose a group of students who could have an interest in the industry. I’ve talked to the exhibitors and they can see what I can see, that this is a really good, hands-on, interactive event. They plan to bring down real mechanics and technology people to be there to talk to the students about what they do.”
Carol says the students don’t know what is available and the industry relies on careers advisers to tell them, but they aren’t always aware of the different options either.
“You can’t expect them to know about everything, so it’s up to us as an industry to show them behind the scenes, and where better than at a really amazing trucking show where everything is at its best?
“We’re pretty excited. Within an hour of the invitation going out more than 200 students registered. We expect it to be close to 500, if not more. We’ve had groups registered from Burnside and Shirley Boys’ High Schools and we know that Papanui is going to register three or four groups, and we’ve still got Hornby High and there are other schools that have said to us they will organise something as soon as they return to school.”
Carol says they only have the capacity for a certain number of registrations, so she advises schools to get in quick so they don’t miss out.
“We want to do it properly, not just a scattergun approach where you get them in the gate and say it’s a careers day. They are going to be hosted and I think that’s the key, getting to talk to real people – real truck drivers, real diesel mechanics, real tyre fitters. It’s putting them face-to-face. We’re really excited about it and the response has been humungous.”
Carol says the sausage sizzle will also be a chance for the students to get together and she hopes many people from the industry will stop and talk to them.
“That interaction will be the experience that they take away. If they talk to people who are excited to be in the industry, they’ll get excited about it too. If the industry really steps up and some of the old timers come out too, that will be great.”
The students will receive a goody bag, as well as information on the different transport industry career options.
The other new event at the trucking show is the truck relay, with a prize of a trip for four to the Brisbane Truck Show up for grabs.
“The competition on the open day will not only show the public the skills out there, but also provide a bit of competition among the companies. In the truck relay there are four members in each team. One has to drive and back a B-train, one has to load with a forklift, then there is a tarper, and then all four do the truck pull. MOVE Logistics were quick to sign up, their team is called MOVE It, and Hilton Haulage are putting a couple of teams in, we’ve got NZ Express too. TR Group stepped up to sponsor the event, they were delighted because they’re very into safety and celebrating skills.”
Carol says it is a new event, but she expects it to take off and for places to be quickly secured at the next show.
“It won’t be so hard that you can’t have a go, you just need to pick your best team. The show and shine guys will be hanging around all day so we thought how cool it would be to have a competition going where they can all get together and compete while the judging is being done. The last team will finish just before we hand out the awards for the show and shine. It will be great for the public to see as well.”
Carol says in addition to the new truck and product launches happening at the show, another exhibit that will attract lots of attention is the largest display ever of remote control trucks.
“They have got more than 50 metres of area that they will fill with all sorts of things. They’ve got trucks and diggers and will be making a whole village, it’s huge.”
The TMC Trailers Trucking Industry Show is on March 9 (trade day) and 10 (public open day) at the Christchurch A&P Showgrounds.