THE VICTORIAN government has partnered with the Victorian Transport Association to fund training for more heavy-vehicle drivers.

The extra $1 million from the government would support VTA’s heavy-vehicle driver delivery program.

The program address heavy-vehicle driver shortages and aims to attract and retain younger drivers for critical supply transport and logistics supply chains.

The Victorian Labor government has been investing in the program since its launch in 2016. Since then, nearly 400 drivers have been trained and employed through the program.

“This partnership will see more Victorians get skilled up and behind the wheel to keep our state’s multi-billion-dollar freight industry moving,” Victorian minister for ports and freight Melissa Horne said.

As part of the program, the VTA co-ordinates training with qualified providers and helps graduates secure stable positions with reputable transport companies.

“The transport industry requires qualified and job ready drivers to ensure Victorians can maintain the high living standards they are accustomed to and help address supply chain challenges,” VTA CEO Peter Anderson said.

Transport Workers Union Branch assistant secretary Mem Suleyman said the union also supports the initiative.

“Skilled driver shortages in the transport industry is affecting our members who are under constant pressure to deliver around the clock and on time.”

The partnership between government and industry follows the success of the 2023 Freight Industry Training for Jobseekers project, which facilitated employment for more than 125 people in freight and warehousing.

The state government said Victoria’s wider freight industry contributes $21 billion annually to the state’s economy and employs more than 260,000 Victorians.