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Wheels in motion . . . Shannon Gainsford, a class 4 driver for Hilton Haulage, was on the front page of The Courier's May 26 edition as Ara sought approval for a new course aimed at filling the truck driver shortage. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

2018 was an eventful year for South Canterbury. The Courier reporters Greta Yeoman, Claire Allison and Chris Tobin look back at some of the leading stories of the year’s papers.

Training truck drivers was the front page story of The Courier‘s May 31 edition as Ara sought approval for a new course.

The Timaru course aimed at filling the truck driver shortage was awaiting approval from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) in May and started properly in October.

The 30-week course would include 17 weeks working in the industry.

Ara Timaru workplace learning manager Laura Handy said in December that nine students were taking part in the first year of the course, which started in October and would end in May.

“All [the students] who started with us on day one are still studying with us.”

She said enrolments for the second round of the course, which will start on March 18, were open.

Ms Handy said all the students had achieved their class 2 and forklift licences.

“[They] have been given incredible experiences thanks [to] this course being so industry-based.”