News: Driver Operator Training in the Eastern Bay of Plenty is ready for its next step.

12/08/2021 After successfully training 349 students in the Kawerau based Te Ara Huringa ō Pupuwharau (Driver Operator Training Centre), the Toi EDA managed facility is ready to take the next big step in creating a mobile training facility.

Established in July 2019 with assistance from the Provincial Growth Fund, the centre focused on addressing the shortage of truck drivers and machine operators across the Eastern Bay region.  To date, 349 students have attended courses through Te Ara Huringa ō Pupuwharau, adding 56 truck licences to the region, with the remaining students achieving formal qualifications and skills in Forklift operation, Wheel Track Rollers, Hazardous Goods Handling, or Working at Heights. Of the graduates the vast majority are now in full employment.

Toi EDA recently facilitated delivery of a Class 2 Truck Course in Murupara.  In collaboration with Te Rūnanga O Ngāti Manawa, Eastbay REAP, and Kiwi Can Do, we took six students through their Class 2 Learner Licence and then on to complete their Class 2 Full Licence. Five of the six are now fully employed in as drivers. Feedback from this course, said that “the opportunities that the training provided was significant, and that they are loving their new career options”. “What worked really well was that they brought the course to us here in Murupara, which meant I was able to get the training I needed in my own town”. Gloria Newton, Work for Life Centre Manager said, “The outcomes were great, I must say the Manawa Tu team were new to the class 2 space, and it took the expertise of all groups involved to make it work. We couldn’t have wished for better outcomes for our clients especially gaining long term employment contracts. It takes a village and I think all services worked exceptionally well together to provide funding and excellent service to the 6 clients”.

We are seeing strong demand for Class 2 Licence Training across the region, and this has led us to develop several new offerings that can be delivered anywhere in the Eastern Bay of Plenty rather than from a central training site in Kawerau. Andrew Watson, Toi EDA Manager of Driver Operator Training says, “Over the last two years we have seen strong demand for the shorter courses that provide the necessary skills to get a job.  We also identified a need to take training to not only urban areas, but also remote locations rather than a central hub. Both employers and the students really appreciate our flexibility.”

From a health and safety perspective, an employer has a legal obligation to keep their staff safe and this includes the use of company vehicles.  To assist with this, we have access to Defensive Driver Training and Driver Assessment.  We can do this for individual drivers or as part of a corporate training programme and includes all classes of driver licence from car to large truck. Some insurance providers may offer discounts if staff have attended a Defensive Driving Course.

All our courses can be delivered at your workplace or relatively close to it and our trainers are happy to travel within the region to make this possible.

If you would like to know more about driver operator training in your town or workplace, contact Andrew our Manager – Driver Operator Training, at