The 2023 Victorian Transport Association state conference unpacked issues facing Victorian transport including labour shortages, encouraging women in transport, freight and logistic challenges, and the response to local and global events impacting supply chains.

Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne, said, “We’re continuing to work with the freight and logistics industry to keep supply chains moving into the future and benefit the thousands of Victorians who work in and rely on it daily.

“This Victorian Transport Association state conference is a great way to hear from key members of the industry to understand issues and address them, so we can keep supporting our producers, freight operators and exporters.”

The Victorian Government is working with the Victorian Transport Association to address labour shortages in the sector through the Freight Industry Training initiative.

The $3 million program was launched early 2022 and has equipped participants with the necessary skills to secure long-term job opportunities, such as driving heavy vehicles, forklifts and working in warehousing, and ensuring essential supplies get to their destination.

The Government’s Women in Transport Strategy 2021/24 will also be a focal point at the conference with the project aimed at increasing the number of women working in public and private industry transport sectors to 50 per cent by 2024.

Women currently make up just 16 per cent of workers in the freight and logistics industry making them a priority in the program, yet many are now in full-time employment and more graduates are looking for opportunities to join them.

The sector’s resilience and response to local and global events that have impacted supply chains will also be discussed at the conference, including the impacts to the industry following the 2022 floods.

The freight sector contributes $21 billion to the state’s economy each year and underpins 260,000 jobs that ensure producers, exporters and importers can get their products to local and global markets.

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