The Driver Academy Group, a consortium led by HGV training specialist HGVC, and comprising workforce solutions group Manpower and trade body Logistics UK, has won the lead role on a Government scheme to train and place 11,000 HGV drivers across England. The Group was formed to offer support in the upskilling and supply of candidates to a sector facing a shortfall of nearly 100,000 drivers.
The Driver Academy Group will train and place 2,160 candidates into HGV driving roles as part of the Government’s Skills Bootcamps. 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 Department for Education funding addresses one of the major barriers to entry for aspiring HGV drivers: cost.
HGVC, a leading provider of fully managed HGV training courses via its network of more than 100 centres across the UK, will oversee the training of 750 new drivers in England. The firm will also help upskill hundreds of existing HGV drivers to obtain their ADR qualifications so they can drive critical and hazardous vehicles, such as petrol tankers. 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.
Consortium partners Logistics UK, the UK’s largest logistics trade body, will provide drivers with soft skills training. Workforce solutions group Manpower will support qualified drivers in their search for suitable roles in the industry.
The Skills Bootcamps in HGV Driving are live today [Friday 10 December] and are open to anyone with a car license aged 19 and over. The Driver Academy Group 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. Candidates can apply at www.hgv.academy.
All successful applicates will be booked onto courses as soon as there is availability in order to get them into a new driving job as quickly as possible in 2022. The training courses are available at 60 locations across the country. Qualified drivers could secure starting salaries of up to £40,000, or more for those driving dangerous goods.
James Clifford, CEO of HGVC, said: “We’re proud to be at the forefront of tackling an issue that affects business and consumers across the country. 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.
“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.”
David Jordan, Deputy Operations Director – Services at Logistics UK, said: “The severe shortage of HGV drivers has had a significant impact on our industry over the past year. Logistics UK is proud to be part of the consortium charged with providing a solution to the issue and we look forward to adding our support and expertise to the Skills Bootcamps, alongside the experts at HGVC and Manpower, so that we can identify and train the workforce which our industry needs to keep Britain trading effectively.”
Jason Greaves, Manpower Brand Leader UK, said: “It’s well known that the UK is facing a shortage of HGV drivers, and without action the movement of goods will be severely affected. Logistics is currently the most in demand sector and the UK talent shortage is currently at a 15-year-high, with 77% of employers in the United Kingdom having difficulty filling jobs. In 2019 we took steps to offer additional support to candidates going through HGV training and help prepare them for their driving career by forming the Driver Academy with HGVC. Since only 1% of the sector are female, we also want to expand the talent pool to be more inclusive via our Women In Driving development pathway and other initiatives. We are delighted to be working in partnership with HGVC and Logistics UK to reinforce the message that we are here to support the drivers and the industry as a whole.”
The Government-funded training is provided via nine pathways. Courses range from novice drivers looking to gain their HGV licence, to refresher courses and upgrades for current licence holders.
Companies looking to upskill existing drivers can also apply for Government funding of 70% of the scheme’s cost.
The Skills Bootcamps are part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, helping everyone gain skills for life. The scheme is funded by the Department for Education, which completed a competitive tender process to appoint training providers.