Thursday, June 1, 2017

Road Haulage Training Guide and Better Image Could Help Logistics Sector Fill Vacancies

LGV and HGV Driver Shortage Could Be Resolved by Trailblazer Apprenticeships Says RHA
Shipping News Feature
UK – One of the hot topics at the recent Road Haulage Association (RHA) Luncheon in London was the subject of how to fill the thousands of vacancies which exist for LGV and HGV drivers. It is a puzzle to many in the industry as to why, at a time when much of the media is concerned with the lack of opportunities for youngsters upon finishing their education, the logistics sector seems to be an invisible presence, despite forming the biggest industry in the world. A change of image is required right across the field to bring more new talent into the world of transport.

This low profile and poor public image extends even to some working within the freight industry and now the RHA is pointing out that the new LGV driver apprenticeship scheme can extend to training HGV drivers to C+E level, something the RHA calls ‘a game changer’. Many hauliers and even some training providers are unaware that they can train recruits for the articulated lorry C+E licence as well as the C-licence for rigid trucks.

With a dearth of drivers of all categories in the UK, plus the added pressures caused by many EU nationals with suitable qualifications returning home due to the fall in the pound and uncertainty over Brexit, now is the very time that the advantages of a career on the road should be highlighted to school and university graduates. Even those who could potentially eventually end up in the administration side might benefit from seeing the everyday practicalities and problems of driving a commercial vehicle on a daily basis.

Whilst not claiming it is the finished article the RHA has published a preliminary online guide to LGV Trailblazer apprenticeship training providers which it is seeking to develop further. Colin Snape, RHA deputy director of policy explained the organisation’s position, saying:

“Some firms have said the new Trailblazer apprenticeship is not for them, until they find out that it can take new recruits through to driving 44 tonnes vehicles. That totally changes the level of interest. Firms should realise that the funding of £4,500 (up to £5,000 for firms with fewer than 50 employees or Levy Payers) is suitable for their businesses. A higher level of funding is available for firms taking on young drivers.

“The RHA has delivered 20 presentations and workshops to members over the past three months, as we work to transform the way the industry recruits and trains drivers, and it is clear that interest in the industry is gaining momentum.”

Training providers are encouraged to send their details to Colin at

Photo: Courtesy of the RHA.