FORS, the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme, has redoubled its efforts in addressing the transport industry’s ongoing driver shortage.
The latest FORS Standard, released to FORS members in September 2016, includes the requirement for Gold members to develop a plan to encourage new drivers to enter the industry.
FORS accredited members may be particularly attractive to potential drivers as they have access to funded training opportunities as part of their membership. These companies also demonstrate good working environments, as they must meet strict health and safety criteria, for example demonstrating that policies and procedures are in place to manage both drivers’ hours and total working time.
However, FORS has now specified that those companies wishing to become, or be reaccredited as, a Gold member must have a strategy in place to encourage new drivers into the industry.
FORS Director John Hix said “The driver shortage is a real concern for all commercial fleet operators and it’s great to see it being taken seriously by our members. FORS operators are encouraged to improve working conditions and take driver welfare seriously, not just for the health and safety of the driver but for all those on the road they may encounter.”
He continued: “I’ve seen some great examples of companies engaging with new and potential drivers to expand the industry and look forward to our members continuing to push this vital initiative.”
An example of a FORS member doing this well is CEMEX, which is using its CEMEX Logistics Apprenticeship scheme to recruit and train individuals aged 18-23.
The programme is run in association with CEMEX’s apprentice training provider, Systems Training, and offers a pathway to gain the nationally recognised Apprenticeship Level 2 (QCF) qualification in Driving Goods Vehicles and an LGV category C or C+E licence, so that apprentices can take on the role of LGV Driver within CEMEX.
The graduates have now become full time CEMEX drivers, delivering cement and aggregates from locations across the country.