100 Truckers: Growing Our Workforce
NZ Howard League for Penal Reform today announced a new challenge; to create 100 new truck drivers to help grow the economy in a world-wide pandemic.
CEO Mike Williams says with our borders closed to so much of the migrant workforce NZ depends on now is the time to invest resources in our own people who may have been overlooked in the past.
The HL Driving Programme works with Community Corrections to help ex-prisoners and offenders obtain driving licences and from there move into work.
Mike Williams says New Zealand has labour shortages in horticulture, agriculture, infrastructure and transportation especially in the provinces.
“For the cost of keeping one person in prison for a year we can train around 100 people to Class 2 to 5 licences (that’s big trucks and really big trucks to lay people) as well as providing training in Wheels, Tracks and Rollers so they can operate road works and farm machinery, and forklifts.
“Once someone has these licences they are almost guaranteed to get well paid jobs anywhere in the country” says Mike Williams.
The NZ Howard League runs 17 driving programmes around the North Island; 14 funded by the Provincial Growth Fund and three by NZTA Waka Kotahi. To date the programme has generated over 6000 Class 1 (car) driving licences.
According to Impact Lab, a social research company headed by Sir Bill English, every dollar invested in the Howard League Driving Programme results in $3.26 returned to New Zealand.