Driver Academy Group to train and place 11,000 HGV drivers

Lorry driver behind the wheel

The Driver Academy Group has won the lead role on a Government scheme to train and place 11,000 HGV drivers across England.

The group will train and place 2,160 candidates into HGV driving roles as part of the Government’s Skills Bootcamps, funded by the Department for Education.

The Skills Bootcamps in HGV Driving are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer.

The Driver Academy Group, a consortium led by HGVC, and comprising Manpower and Logistics UK, was formed to offer support in the upskilling and supply of candidates to a sector facing a shortfall of nearly 100,000 drivers.

James Clifford, chief executive officer at HGVC, said: “Funding is a major barrier to entry for those looking to become HGV drivers so this new funding from the Department for Education will make an impact.

“By providing these courses, we are training up the new drivers that the UK needs to ensure the economy keeps growing while helping existing drivers into more critical and higher-paid roles.”

In November, the Government launched a review into HGV driver training with the aim of reducing the burden for existing and returning HGV drivers.

HGVC will oversee the training of 750 new drivers in England and the firm will also help upskill existing HGV drivers to obtain their ADR qualifications so they can drive critical and hazardous vehicles, such as petrol tankers.

Companies looking to upskill existing drivers can also apply for government funding of 70% of the scheme’s cost.

In addition, more than a thousand courses are available for lapsed drivers who are keen to return to HGV driving but need refresher training before getting back behind the wheel.

Clifford added: “We have a tried and tested approach to managing HGV driver training that has resulted in thousands of new drivers getting good HGV jobs in the UK.

“Our pass rates are around 80%, which is significantly higher than the national average.

“Our partnership with Manpower Group and Logistics UK means we’re confident we can get HGV drivers into great jobs at the end of the scheme.”

Consortium partners Logistics UK will provide drivers with soft skills training, while workforce solutions group Manpower will support qualified drivers in their search for suitable roles in the industry.

A new report published by Logistics UK shows there is cause for cautious optimism that the HGV driver shortage is improving.

Logistics UK and Driver Require explored ways in which the UK can address the current HGV driver shortage crisis as part of an in-depth session at this year's Fleet & Mobility Live.

The Skills Bootcamps in HGV Driving are open to anyone with a car license aged 19 and over. The Driver Academy Group said it is particularly keen on helping underrepresented groups, such as women, those from ethnic minorities, and younger drivers, become HGV drivers.

Those finding themselves unemployed, or ex-offenders, are also encouraged to apply to become a driver.

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