Professionally trained drivers in high demand

Transportation industry looks to specific skills sets as the economy recovers from pandemic contraction.

Drivers currently have an opportunity to leverage their training and experience to increase their earnings and fill the skills shortage gap present in the transport and logistics industry.

This, at a time when the transportation industry, like most sectors, is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic and a contraction of the economy.

Arnoux Maré, managing director of Innovative Learning Solutions, says, “Professionally trained drivers are in high demand as the industry aims to regain the losses suffered under the various lockdown levels and stifled economy.”

“Drivers who fall in this category have specific skills sets such as, driving in wet conditions, economical driving, heavy goods vehicle braking, straight reverse and alley docking,” he adds.

The Department of Labour published its minimum wages for wholesale and retail truck drivers, in February 2021. Code 14 drivers who worked in more populated municipalities could expect to earn no less than R6,083.53 a month. However, this figure is not reflective of what more experienced drivers can earn.

Data sourced from salary website Indeed shows that the base salary for a truck driver is closer to R10,324 per month – or roughly R124,000 a year – and comparative salary information from PayScale shows that the average pay is slightly lower at R98,225 a year, or R8,185 a month.

The more qualified a driver is, the better efficient they become: this also extends to their reliability, leading to increased productivity, which positively impacts their employers’ bottom line, offering them a huge negotiation advantage over their peers without the necessary training.

Arnoux says, “It is not just the drivers who stand to benefit from having skills that set them apart. Businesses that invest in the development of systems and staff increase their functionality and gain valuable data and insights over the industry and competition.

“As companies also seek to trim costs, being leaner and more capable of doing more with less will likely be more commonplace. This includes improving recruitment processes to ensure drivers beyond the technical know-how required of all drivers also have necessary soft skills such as communication, motivation and customer services,” he concludes.