Manfield granted $2.8 million for national driver training
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced $2.8 million of funding for the Manfield Park Trust to develop its National Driver Training Centre.
The Provincial Growth Fund investment will be funnelled into developing the facility, expanding the current Class 1 driver training programme to deliver a full suite of driver training; including classes 2 - 5, and a range of machine operators.
Manfield Chief Executive Julie Keane said “Investing in driver training programmes connects local people with local trainers - providing the skills that encourage employment in key industries like infrastructure, road transport, agriculture, forestry and distribution & logistics.“Previous research has shown that 85 per cent of students in our region are leaving school without a driver's license - making it harder for our employers to find young people who have the skills they need.”
“To date, 115 drivers have completed Defensive Driving Courses, and over 440 students from around the region are working towards obtaining their class 1 licence,” says Julie Keane. “We’ve worked very closely with education and training providers to remove barriers for young people to achieve a drivers licence, and have some wonderful success stories already.”
“There is a real demand for skilled workers, driven by major projects happening in and around the Manawatū-Whanganui region – including the Manawatū Gorge Road Project.”During the announcement, Minister Jones noted that this investment will ensure that more people in the region have the opportunity to gain meaningful employment.