Investing in truck driver training
The Volvo programme is recognised and certified by the CTA
Volvo Trucks has embarked on a new programme in SA to develop unemployed commercial vehicle drivers through the newly-established Volvo Group Driver Learnership programme.
Supported by Volvo Group brands, Volvo Trucks and UD Trucks, the product-specific training is delivered by the brand’s skilled driver trainers.
With an investment of R1.9m for the training of 20 unemployed commercial vehicle drivers, the qualification, which is approved by the Transport Education Training Authority and based on both theoretical and practical modules, saw the first intake of drivers start training in July 2018. It’s a 12-month learnership that ends in June 2019 and a National Certificate in Professional Driving from the Transport Seta recognised Commercial Transport Academy (CTA) in Bredell will be conferred to successful graduates.
"We are proud to be able to make a tangible contribution to the development of the local transport industry. With an acute need for qualified and skilled drivers, we believe this programme will start to address this industry-wide problem in a practical yet impactful way," said Marcus Hörberg, vice-president of Volvo Group Southern Africa.
Additionally, the learners will spend a minimum of 400 hours driving over four seasons and across nine provinces.
"Learnerships are not new, however it is in the alignment of new knowledge learnt and its application in the workplace that differentiates this programme," said Nicci Scott, founder of CTA. "We purposefully select unit standards that speak to stakeholder management, be it to the customer, the employer or the driver’s role in acting responsibly, with safety as the key focus."
In 2017, AB Volvo Group donated funds on behalf of its employees to various global markets to assist in resolving the different challenges faced in local markets. Sixteen projects, of which this driver training course is one, were selected by a committee of employee representatives from AB Volvo Board, members of the executive board and Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of the Volvo Group.
"Transport is key to economic growth in this region and if we are able to upskill and empower commercial vehicle drivers it will help drive development, prosperity and growth."
Hörberg said the programme aims to enhance and add to the pool of existing professional drivers. "Once the first group has graduated, we will be looking to specifically enrol and develop more women drivers — a demographic group we believe has great potential to positively impact the industry, and society at large, as truck and bus operators," he said.