Growing up in her family’s transport company in the town of Condobolin in central New South Wales, Louise, 39, was exposed to the transport and logistics industry from an early age.
After working in various HR positions in Canberra, she moved to Queensland in 2001. Louise now works for the government with Queensland Transport in the Industry Capability unit. Queensland Transport works with the community, industry and government to address and resolve skills and labour issues in the transport and logistics industry.
Why is transport and logistics so important in Australia?
T&L is the industry that underpins every sector in our economy. Without it everything slows down. If we can’t do things like get our food delivered to supermarkets or travel to places that we need to go, absolutely everything stops. It is a critical industry.
The area that I work in partners with the transport and logistics industry – in particular with road, rail, sea and air organisations – to provide solutions for the current and projected labour skills shortages. We basically look at today’s work force, predict tomorrow’s work force, and then plan how to fill the gaps in employment. We collaborate with organisations to set up partnerships between industry, educators and various groups within the community.
T&L is a well-kept secret – so my job is to get out there and promote the industry. We achieve this by attending career expos, helping businesses to become best practice employers, running events within the industry, setting up school partnerships, organising adult re-training programs and promoting the industry through the media.
We’re in a team of seven. A lot of us here have a human resources/business background. The exciting thing for us is that while our Queensland Transport team itself is quite small, our team also includes the unions, community groups, councils, industry players, schools, training organisations and educators. These people are part of our wider team who are helping us to deliver the programs that we are creating. Collectively we can find sustainable solutions.
I came out of school not knowing what I wanted to do. I postponed study until I’d worked out where my interests were. In my 20s, I realised that I wanted to work in a business and develop transferable skills, so I followed a business path with a HR focus. I completed an Advanced Diploma of Business and a Diploma of Training and Assessment Systems.
Whatever it is that you want to do, there’s an opportunity to do it. Some people don’t want to undertake tertiary study, and T&L can give them opportunities to gain globally transferable skills. There are also endless opportunities for new career paths. Whether you’re an HR professional, an engineering graduate, or a hydrographic surveyor, it doesn’t matter – anything will fit within this industry.