To address the national shortage of HGV drivers, the Welsh government has launched funded courses to HGV drivers and companies.
The government-funded training courses, called Skills Bootcamps, are part of the government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, which aims to help the population gain skills for life. The courses are available through the Driver Academy Group, a consortium comprising freight trade association Logistics UK, HGV training specialist HGVC and workforce solutions group Manpower.
For existing HGV drivers, three types of bootcamps are available. The first is license upgrades, aimed at those with a category C license (rigid HGV) who are looking to upgrade to a category C+E (an articulated lorry). The second offering is refresher courses, for those seeking to rebuild their confidence behind the wheel. The third option is the ADR and Petroleum Passport, for those wanting to transport hazardous goods and drive fuel tankers. Free courses are also available for individuals with no experience who are wishing to start a career in HGV driving. Additionally, the initiative is offering government funding of 70% of a scheme’s cost to companies looking to upskill existing drivers.
Chris Yarsley, Logistics UK’s policy manager for Wales, said, “The Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee of the Welsh Senedd [Parliament] has developed a proactive and comprehensive plan to tackle the HGV driver shortage which demonstrates that it has listened closely to the concerns and suggestions of Logistics UK and incorporated our proposals. These include measures to develop HGV driver apprenticeship programs, increase the number of training providers available and expedite the development of regional and national freight strategies. Most crucially, the committee calls upon the Welsh government to announce a national audit of rest facilities for drivers with the intention to improve provision where it has been found to be lacking, something we have been championing on behalf of our members for some time, since poor driver facilities continue to be a huge barrier to recruitment and retention of drivers.”
David Jordan, deputy operations director, services, Logistics UK, commented, “HGV driving is a vital occupation that supports all facets of the nation’s economy and society. Logistics UK is proud to be part of a consortium helping to train our nation’s supply chain heroes. Providing HGV drivers with an exciting opportunity to upskill and build confidence – at bootcamps located across the UK – and employers the chance to receive funding for this training, this opportunity is not to be missed. We urge all those interested to apply now and secure your place.”
Jason Greaves, UK brand leader of Manpower, said, “The Skills Bootcamps are not just a great way to get new drivers into the industry, but to support those who want to upskill or refresh themselves to get back into the driving seat. We are facing a major issue in the industry with the HGV driver shortage, which the Driver Academy Group is tackling head-on. Manpower, alongside the expertise of HGVC and Logistics UK, is dedicated to supporting those drivers in their career, creating the committed and work-ready talent the logistics sector needs.”