UK Government funds HGV skills bootcamps to tackle shortages

UK Government funds HGV skills bootcamps to tackle shortages

To tackle the ongoing shortage of HGV drivers, the UK Government has invested £34.5m in ‘skills bootcamps’.

 

The funding is the highest in the last eight years combined, which will help companies train around 11,000 new drivers, as the cost amounts to around £4,000 for each, the Financial Times reported.

 

Sally Gilson, policy manager for skills at the Road Haulage Association, told the Financial Times: “This money is incredibly welcome. Our sector works to wafer-thin margins, with 80 percent of our membership having 15 trucks or less. They don’t have £4,000 per person to spend on training.”

 

The £34.5m will also help attract a new generation of workers, states Logistics UK’s Rona Hunnisett. “This is a good way to raise awareness of the sector and a great opportunity to show there are good, meaningful jobs with good wages on offer,” she told the Financial Times.

 

The ‘skills bootcamps’ will rely on different teaching formats and will run until the end of November. A virtual reality (VR) training programme to help drivers get on the road faster has been launched by Easy As HGV, one of the UK’s largest HGV training companies.

 

“It’s no secret that the HGV sector is in crisis. We desperately need to train up more drivers – and fast,” said Easy As HGV’s managing director Tom McGhie.

 

“This VR training is going to be invaluable as it will enable candidates to revise and practice the skills they learn in our training course before they take their test. It’s far more effective than having them read a textbook or watch a standard, non-interactive video.”

 

Driver shortages have plagued the industry for the last two years, with the number of qualified HGV drivers going down 23.4 per cent, from 308,000 in the second quarter of 2019 to 236,000 in 2021.

 

Logistics UK’s 2021 report states that Brexit and the lack of drivers were among the main barriers to business recovery, representing respectively 69.7 and 57.3 per cent.

 

Skills shortages in the logistics sector don’t involve only HGV drivers, but affect all parts of the supply chain.

 

Nick McCullough, managing director of MANFREIGHT Limited, told City A.M.: “When we tried to recruit for these roles, we really struggled as there is simply not the experience in the market to meet the current demand and the salaries for such roles are currently highly inflated.

 

“The current systems only allow a small amount of automation, and the accuracy of data input needs to be 100 per cent. Otherwise, we can face significant delays or fines in the movement of goods.”

2 thoughts on “UK Government funds HGV skills bootcamps to tackle shortages”

  1. Will the DVSA be offering compensation for driving instructor’s that only taught candidates for the B+E category, many of us have now lost our livelihood’s due to the rule changes.

  2. Kevan Chippindall-Higgin

    As usual, the government is doing things back to front. Why would anybody want to become a trucker? Apart from the anti social elements of some driving jobs, drivers are bound to follow both Drivers’ Hours and Working Time Directive rules which, being EU inspired, are both complex and different but somehow have to be harmonised. It is a complete nightmare and the fines are draconian for both driver and operator.

    Then there is the nonsense of Driver CPC. I teach this and it is a monumental waste of time and money to businesses and administration costs are hideous.

    It does not end here. Bus and truck drivers must have their eyes tested every 5 years, which is very sensible. They must also achieve a certain level of visual acuity without corrective lenses. The reason is another loopy EU regulation which insists on this in case glasses fall off and cause an accident. Not only have no accidents ever been recorded as being caused by glasses falling off, there have been no recorded cases of glasses falling off at all! The EU line was that it might happen and we cannot be too careful.

    What actually happened was a whole swathe of older drivers failed this idiotic test and ended up on the scrapheap. This asinine regulation needs to go too.

    These truly stupid EU regulations must go. Keep driver’s hours because they are sensible but scrap the rest. I was talking to a lorry driver this week who I was assessing for vans and he told me that he could pick up a £50,000 job tomorrow but that involved tramping, which is travelling all over the place collecting and delivering loads. This involves living in the cab, which is not too bad, but the total absense of shower and other facilities as part of our national infrastructure makes this a miserable way to live and work.

    Meanwhile, back at the dream factory, formal trailer qualifications have gone. They could be fairly easily got around even when they existed but now the way is open once more to dangerous trailer combos, which even with the regulations were very evident. Just look at the hideous wrecks at the local dump. Meanwhile, drivers are now deemed to know all about trailers and how to drive them, despite this being no part of the non existant syllabus or test. I do not think that trailers are even mentioned in the theory test.

    Meanwhile, a new student who started yesterday had 3 points for no L plate on his moped. On the drive, I lost count of the number of illegal e scooters swooping about the place with impunity. Never mind. Lots of these idiots will end up killing themselves which will save us from their antics when they can afford cars, so maybe the corrupt application of the law might have some advantages after all.

    This is not a case of no common sense. It is a case of no sense at all.

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