More than 700 individuals are now on their way to starting a new career in HGV driving, thanks to training coordinated by the Driver Academy Group, a consortium comprising of Logistics UK, Manpower and HGVC.
They are working as part of the Department for Education’s initiative to deliver funded Skills Bootcamps across England to help overcome the nation’s driver shortage.
Of those who applied for places on the consortium’s Skills Bootcamps, more than 7% are women – it is estimated that female HGV drivers currently represent just 2% of those in the profession.
Also, one quarter of applicants for the driver’s bootcamps are from non-white ethnic backgrounds.
‘Overwhelmed with the interest in this training’
David Jordan, the deputy operations director at Logistics UK, said: “We are overwhelmed with the interest in this training, and most crucially, the makeup of applicants.
“This is a positive step forward for an industry that has struggled historically to recruit women and those from more diverse backgrounds.”
He added: “We are pleased the percentage of female applicants outstrips the industry average, but we recognise more work needs to be done to attract more women.
“There are so few females in the profession, despite the benefits of the flexible working patterns and controlled hours which professional driving can provide, crucial to fit around childcare and other commitments.”
New HGV driver courses
The consortium is processing a further 4,000 applications to the new HGV driver courses.
The free courses are available for individuals with no experience of wanting a career in HGV driving.
Companies looking to upskill their existing drivers can apply for Government funding of 70% of the scheme’s cost because the Skills Bootcamps are part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, helping everyone gain skills for life.
Mr Jordan said: “Whether you are looking to kickstart a brand-new career in HGV driving, or you are an existing driver seeking refresher training or a licence upgrade, do apply for your Bootcamp place now and take this time-limited opportunity to receive part- or fully-funded training.”
For more information, including details on how to apply for the new HGV driver bootcamp courses, then visit their website.
C&D South West attracting new people into the road transport industry
Meanwhile, Somerset haulier C&D South West has announced plans to support the Road Haulage Association’s Skills Campaign that launched this month.
The firm’s managing director, Lorna Hammond, said: “We’re proud to be supporting the RHA through a number of initiatives that will evolve over the months ahead.”
As a part of the effort, C&D South West is undertaking a number of initiatives, including the encouraging of applications from all genders that are interested in joining the industry to apply for one of several available places at its C&D Driver Academy.
Established in 2016, the Academy has already successfully trained more than 20 HGV drivers and is set to train six more between now and the end of 2022.