More than 700 people have started training to become HGV drivers through the Driver Academy Group’s Skills Bootcamps.
The initiative was launched as part of the Department for Education’s initiative to help overcome the nation’s driver shortage.
The Driver Academy Group is a consortium comprising business organisation Logistics UK, HGV training specialist HGVC, and workforce solutions group Manpower.
The consortium is in the midst of processing a further 4,000 applications to the courses.
Training is funded by the Government. Companies looking to upskill existing drivers can apply for Government funding of 70% of the scheme’s cost. Free courses are also available for individuals with no experience wishing to start a career in HGV driving.
Of those who applied for places to the consortium’s Skills Bootcamps, more than 7% are women and one quarter are from non-white ethnic backgrounds.
David Jordan, deputy operations director – services 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.
“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.”
For existing HGV drivers, three types of bootcamps are available: licences upgrades, for those with a category C licence (rigid HGV) looking to upgrade to a category C+E (an articulated lorry), refresher courses for anyone looking to rebuild their confidence behind the wheel, and ADR & Petroleum Passport, for those wanting to transport hazardous goods and drive fuel tankers.
For more information, including details on how to apply, please visit www.hgv.academy.
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