A PROJECT aimed at diversifying Victoria’s freight and logistics workforce has successfully increased the number of women in the sector, according to the state government.

The project has so far placed more than 125 candidates in full-time work, including “a large number” of women who have taken up careers in the freight sector.

Candidates were placed in 70 companies across Victoria, and almost half of the candidates were women.

The $2.4-million Freight Industry Training for Jobseekers Project was launched in March 2022.

Jobs Victoria funded the initiative, and Freight Victoria delivered it in partnership with the Victorian Transport Association.

The association provided freight-industry specific training programs in areas such as heavy vehicle driving, forklift driving and warehousing.

Successful candidates from the project today met with government, industry leaders and freight operators to celebrate the success of the project and reflect on key learnings.

“This program set out to place 125 people in full-time employment in critical roles in freight and logistics and I’m delighted to say we’ve met and exceeded that target, which is a fantastic outcome,” Victorian ports and freight minister Melissa Horne said.

“To see more women participating in the freight and logistics industry is yet another shining example of government collaborating with industry to deliver the goods.”

Victorian minister for employment Vicki Ward said the freight industry is a growing sector that needs workers.

“This important project has created training opportunities to address this skills shortage,” she said.

“It is fantastic to see so many vacancies being filled by women.”

And Victorian Transport Association CEO Peter Anderson said the ability for government and industry to work together was evident in the results of the project.

“Identifying the real needs and delivering on practical solutions and results has been a highlight for further projects of this nature to be considered,” he said.

Women represent 16% of workers in freight and logistics, according to the state government.

It said the freight sector contributes $21 billion to the Victorian economy each year and employs more than 260,000 people.

The government also highlighted the role Port of Melbourne plays in the economy.